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FCA offers a choice of payment service provider (PSP) licenses. Your decision to go for one or the other license is primarily driven by if you would like your customers to hold money in a electronic wallet and if your business model includes allowing your selected partners and agents to be able to offer regulated services in other EEA members states under the umbrella of your own license. 

Effective from 13 October 2017, we are strongly advising all of our clients seeking new registration or authorisation to apply under PSRs 2017 and PSD2.

Payment Institute License

If you are thinking of becoming a payment services provider (PSP) that doesn't need to 'hold value' or issue electronic money (e-money), then you have a choice to either apply and register as a small payment institute (SPI) or apply to become an authorised Payment Institute (API).

Electronic Money License 

On the other hand, if you are planning to become a payment service provider and your business model requires you to 'hold value' in a electronic wallet (e-wallet), then you have a choice to either apply and be registered as small EMI or apply to become an authorised EMI.

Comparison between the various payment services licensers

Please see below a comparison table that summarises the key differences between various PSP licenses.

Key differences between various payment services licenses

Note 1: Authorised Payment Institutions (API) and Electronic Money Institutions (EMI) are required by regulation to protect their customer's funds while they are held by them. This can be achieved by either segregating the customer funds and placing them with an authorised credit institution, such as a banks and building societies, or arranging a relevant insurance policy to protect customer's funds. 
Note 2: Passporting would allow your selected partners and agents across the EEA to carry out the same authorised financial services, which your firm has been authorised to do so under your license.  
Note 3: This is the typical time it would take for Zeeniya Consulting to prepare the application form and supporting documents.
Note 4: This is as per FCA's guidelines on their website for completed applications. Incomplete applications could take up to 12 months 
Note 5: A common misunderstanding is assuming that by head office it is meant parent company, where applicable. However this is not always the case and therefore applicant could have a parent company within or outside EU and may still qualify. 
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NEW - Payment Initiation Service (PIS)

Under Payment Initiation Service (PIS), customers can purchase goods and services using their online banking facilities instead of other payment method.

Businesses that intend to provide PIS only or PIS as well as other payment services may apply to be authorised by the FCA.


Account Information Services (AIS)

Under AIS, your customers can view various payment and bank accounts in a single place I.e. electronic ‘dashboard’. 

Businesses that do not intend to provide any payment services other than AIS may apply to be registered as registered account information service providers (RAISPs). RAISPs are able to provide Account Information Services in other EEA member states.

Next steps

Regardless whether you are applying as a payment institute or as a e-money institute, our services include helping you with the application form, identifying what supporting documents are needed with your application and if required, helping you draft those supporting documents.

Take advantage of our ‘free no obligation’ initial assessment offer, which include assessing the suitability of your directors, shareholders, business model and ability to meet FCA’s requirements.

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