Electronic Money Institution in Malta

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GENERAL BACKGROUND

Electronic Money Institution (“EMI”) is defined in the Third Schedule of Financial Institutions Act as “a financial institution that has been licensed in accordance with this Act and authorised to issue electronic money or that holds an equivalent authorisation in another country in terms of the Electronic Money Directive to issue electronic money”

Electronic money is defined by the Act as:

“electronically, including magnetically, stored monetary value as represented by a claim on the issuer which is issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of making payment transactions … and which is accepted by a natural or legal person other than the financial institutions that issued the electronic money”.

PERMITTED ACTIVITIES

In addition to issuing electronic money, EMIs are entitled, subject to the prior authorisation of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MSFA), to engage in any of the following activities:

  1. the provision of certain payment services;
  2. the granting of credit related to certain payment services. Provided that any such credit shall not be granted from the funds received in exchange of electronic money and held in accordance with the prescribed safeguarding requirements;
  3. the provision of operational services and closely related ancillary services in respect of the issuing of electronic money or to the provision of payment services referred to in point (1) above;
  4. the operation of payment systems;
  5. business activities other than the issuance of electronic money, having regard to the applicable law regulating such activities.

Payment services are regulated by the same Act thereby avoiding the burden of having duplication of compliance procedures and related fees and expenses.

MAIN FEATURES OF EMIS

  • Minimum initial capital requirement of € 350,000. The licensed EMI is obliged to ensure that its own funds may not fall below this amount of initial capital;
  • It is necessary to have at least two individuals who will effectively direct the business of the EMI in Malta and such persons are of sufficiently good repute and have sufficient experience in the opinion of the MFSA to perform such duties;
  • All members of the board of directors and senior managers and shareholders of the applicant are subject to a rigorous due diligence exercise whereby their individual fitness and properness is assessed;
  • EMI Malta are allowed to issue debit cards (such as a chip device) but not credit cards since such institutions are not permitted to undertake lending or other bank related activities;
  • EMIs based in Malta are allowed to outsource services subject to the MFSA’s evaluation on their own merits.

MFSA costs in respect of financial institutions (including EMIs) are as follows:

  • Application and processing one-time fee payable upon submission of an application by a financial institution applying for a licence – €3,500
  • Annual supervision fee (equivalent to a percentage of the total items in the balance sheet) – Not less than €2,500.

NOTE: Licence fees are payable on the date of the granting of a licence pro-rata to 31 December, and thereafter annually on 1 January. Licence fees are payable on a six monthly basis and are not refundable.

LICENSING

Applications must be submitted to the MFSA on the appropriate forms. The application procedure revolves around two basic processes – the analysis of the business plan (including financial projections) and the due diligence exercises on directors, senior managers and shareholders.

Once the relative Malta licence is obtained, the EMI would benefit from the right to passport such licence into other EU Member State country/ies by following some basic procedures of notification thereby enabling the EMI to provide its services within the relevant Member State/s and/or EEA State/s either through the establishment of a branch or remotely, under the freedom to provide services.

We are a team of experienced professionals, all sharing a unique drive for learning and development through teamwork. The Group utilizes its various core activities to implement customized solutions for its clients. Our collective experience spans the areas of Global Corporate & Fiduciary Services, Assurance & Advisory Services, Fund Administration, Tax Advisory, Corporate Governance, Financial Services, Private Wealth Services and Compliance. 

Start a conversation with us today to find out how you can benefit from a relationship with Flexi Group . Please get in contact with our Head of Business Development:

Mrs Daniella May / Head of Business Development

Tel. : + 357 7000 2 5555 / + 357 22 87 57 55

E : inquiries@flexi-group.net

We also organize calls using Skype. Our flexi Skype ID is web@flexi-group.net

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