Procedure to apply for the UK Payment Institution and E-money EMI license

If you wish to provide electronic money or payment services in the UK, you will need to apply for registration or authorisation with the UK financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Depending upon the services you wish to provide, you will either require become a payment institution (SPI/API) or an electronic money institution (EMI).


This article provides details of the key important steps and requirements you need to consider applying for a payment institution or electronic money institution in the UK.


In this article, we will explore:


1. FCA - the UK regulator

2. PSD 2 – the second Payment Services Directive

3. Apply to become a Small Electronic Money Institution (EMI)

4. Apply to become an Authorised Electronic Money Institution (EMI)

5. Apply to become a Small Payment Institution

6. Apply to become an Authorised Payment Institution

7. Further information on making an application




1. FCA - the UK regulator for payment services and electronic money


The Financial Conduct Authority in the UK regulates firms that provide regulated services, including, consumer credit, payment services, e-money, lending, insurance and investment services. The Financial Conduct Authority is the conduct regulator for 59,000 financial services firms and financial markets in the UK and the prudential regulator for over 18,000 of those firms.


If you wish to issue electronic money services in the UK, such as prepaid cards or electronic wallets, you will require an Authorised Electronic Money Institution license from the Financial Conduct Authority.

The FCA’s strategic objective is to ensure that the financial market is functioning effectively and efficiently.