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Enabling you to gain access to 512 million consumers across Europe and offer electronic money, including electronic wallets and prepaid cards

Electronic Money Institution (EMI), Ireland

Introduction

If you wish to become an electronic money institution in Ireland, then you will need to apply to the Central Bank of Ireland for authorisation as an electronic money institution. Below you will find key information and requirements to become an electronic money institution in Ireland.

Electronic money or e-money is the digital equivalent of cash and can be software or hardware-based. Card-based e-money is commonly stored on a prepaid card, an electronic purse or wallet. 

In 2017, mobile payments and digital wallets were used by 68% of Europeans. 84% of consumers across Europe are active online users and this is set to grow. Research has shown that 63% of consumers are most likely to use wallets for loyalty programs, whilst 56% for cashless payments. It is estimated that European mobile payments will almost triple by 2021 and grow from €52 billion to €148 billion.

Services you can provide with an Electronic Money Institution Licence in Ireland
 

An Electronic Money Institution licence in Ireland enables the licence holder to offer a number of services:
 

     -     Issuing of electronic money e.g. prepaid cards and electronic wallets. 
     -     services enabling cash to be placed on a payment account and all the operations required for operating a payment account;
     -     services enabling cash withdrawals from a payment account and all the operations required for operating a payment account;
     -     the execution of payment transactions, including transfers of funds on a payment account with the user’s payment service provider or with another payment service provider, including, execution of direct debits, including one-off direct debits; execution of payment transactions through a payment card or a similar device; execution of credit transfers, including standing orders;
     -     the execution of payment transactions where the funds are covered by a credit line for a payment service user, including, execution of direct debits, including one-off direct debits; execution of payment transactions through a payment card or a similar device; (iii)execution of credit transfers, including standing orders;
     -     issuing payment instruments or acquiring payment transactions;
     -     money remittance;
     -     payment initiation services;
     -     account information services.

 

 

Definition of electronic money
 

Electronic money or e-money is the digital equivalent of cash and can be software or hardware-based. Card-based e-money is commonly stored on a prepaid card, an electronic purse or a wallet. Similarly, it may also be stored in a payment account. The legal framework for electronic money was established by Directive 2000/46/EC. More recently, Electronic Money Directive 2 or EMD 2 was adopted to modernise the framework for the issuance of electronic money and enable innovation in doing so.

 

 

The Irish regulator for Electronic Money Institutions
 

The Central Bank of Ireland regulates firms that provide regulated services, including, payment services, electronic money, lending and investment services.
 

If you wish to issue electronic money services in Ireland, such as prepaid cards or electronic wallets,  you will require an Electronic Money Institution licence from the Irish regulator, namely, the Central Bank of Ireland.

Advantages of obtaining an Electronic Money Institution (e-money) licence in Ireland


     -     Top 15 most innovative countries in the world. 
     -     1st in the world for investment incentives. 
     -     Low corporation tax rate of 12.5%
     -     1st in the world for flexibility and adaptability for people. 
     -     The best country in Western Europe to invest in.
     -     Top 10 global ranking for education and skills.
     -     2nd most competitive economy in Europe.

Key features of the Electronic Money Institution (e-money) licence in Ireland


     -     A licence issued in Ireland is recognised in all other EEA (European Economic Area) member states. Through ‘passporting’, this enables the electronic money institution to operate across all EEA countries with a single licence.
     -     Issue e-money, such as prepaid cards, electronic wallets and payment account with IBAN codes, across Europe.
     -     Join payment schemes such as SEPA.
     -     Issue Visa or Mastercard payment cards for both individual and business users.

 

 

The regulations for Electronic Money Institutions in Ireland


The Payment Service Directive 2 or PSD2 for short, is an EU Directive (Directive 2015/2366) that sets requirements for businesses wishing to provide payment services. It applies to banks, building societies, payment institutions, e-money institutions and their customers.
 

The PSD2 directive aims to promote innovation within the payments sector and improve protection for consumers, whilst making payments both safer and more secure. The PSD2 directive came into force on 13 January 2018.
 

The key objectives of the PSD2 directive are to:


     -     Contribute to a more integrated and efficient European payments market 
     -     Improve the level playing field for payment service providers (including new players) 
     -     Make payments safer and more secure 
     -     Protect consumers

 

 


Key requirements to become an Electronic Money Institution in Ireland


     -     A minimum capital requirement of €350,000 to establish an electronic money institution (e-money) licence.
     -     The requirement to safeguard client funds either with a segregated client bank account or with an insurance policy.
     -     The management body of the electronic money institution must be of good repute and possess the relevant qualifications and experience to perform their duties. 

Applying to become an Electronic Money Institution in Ireland


As part of an Electronic Money Institution (e-money) licence application, you will be required to provide the following information: 


     -     company identification details  
     -     programme of operations  
     -     business plan and financial forecasts  
     -     a description of your business’s organisation structure  
     -     evidence of your initial capital  
     -     measures to safeguard the funds of your users  
     -     compliance & governance arrangements and internal controls  
     -     procedure for monitoring, handling, and following up on security incidents and security-related customer complaints  
     -     processes for filing, monitoring, tracking and restricting access to sensitive payment data  
     -     business continuity measures  
     -     the principles and definitions applicable to the collection of statistical data on performance, transaction and fraud  
     -     security policy  
     -     internal control mechanisms to comply with obligations in relation to money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/CTF obligations)   

     -     details of your qualifying holdings (shareholders)  
     -     details of any outsourcing arrangements

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