Apply to become an electronic money or a payment Institution

Find out how to apply to be authorised or registered with us if your firm wants to provide payment services or  if your firm wants to issue electronic money (e-money).

Apply to become a payment institution

To provide payment services as a payment institution in the UK, you must register with or become authorised by us.

If a business has an average turnover in payment transactions not exceeding €3 million per month, it can choose to be registered as a small payment institution (SPI). Registration is cheaper and simpler than authorisation, but SPIs are unable to provide payment services into other European Economic Area (EEA) member states.

On 13 January 2018 Account Information Services (AIS) and Payment Initiation Services (PIS) became regulated payment services. An ‘account information service’ is an online service which provides consolidated information on one or more payment accounts held by a payment service user with payment service providers. A ‘payment initiation service’ is an online service to initiate a payment order at the request of a payment service user with respect to a payment account held by them. This must only be done with the user’s consent to and authentication of the payment. Payment initiation services provide an alternative to paying online using a credit card or debit card.

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. Businesses that intend to provide PIS only or PIS as well as other payment services must apply to be authorised.

Firms that don’t need to register or be authorised

Some firms are exempt from registration or authorisation under the Payment Service Regulations, including:

  • credit unions
  • the National Savings bank
  • banks (otherwise authorised by us)
  • building societies (otherwise authorised by us)
  • e-money institutions (authorised under the EMRs)
  • municipal banks

Applications under the Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2)

PSD2 was published in the European Union's Official Journal on 23 December 2015. PSD2 will be implemented in the UK by the Payment Services Regulations 2017 (PSRs 2017) from 13 January 2018. It aims to bring regulation up to date with developments in the payment services industry and to promote further innovation. It also aims to improve consumer protection, make payments safer and more secure, and drive down the cost of services by encouraging competition in the marketplace. Read more about PSD2 and the PSRs 2017.

Firms that are authorised or registered under the Payment Services Regulations 2009 (PSRs 2009) will need to apply to be re-authorised or re-registered under the PSRs 2017 in order to continue providing payment services.

PSD2 is also relevant for new businesses seeking authorisation or registration as payment institutions. It will introduce a number of significant changes, including new conditions of authorisation and registration. Further information on submitting applications under PSD2.

If you were authorised or registered as a Payment Institution before 13 January 2018, you will need to submit an application to re-register or become re-authorised under PSD2 and the PSRs 2017, and pay an additional application fee.

Businesses applying for re-authorisation under PSD2 will need to submit a complete application by 13 April 2018 in order to continue operating on or after 13 July 2018. Businesses who are registered as small payment institutions applying for re-registration will need to submit a complete application by 13 October 2018 in order to continue operating on or after 13 January 2019. Further information on application deadlines

Apply to become a small payment institution (SPI)

If your business's average monthly turnover in payment transactions was less than €3 million per month in the preceding 12 months, you can apply to register as a small payment institution (SPI).

To apply, you should complete the form on our online system Connect.

Businesses that are registered as SPIs are not permitted to provide AIS or PIS under PSD2 and are not permitted to provide payment services in the EEA.  

Apply to become a registered account information service provider

If the only payment service your firm will be providing is AIS, you can apply to register as a RAISP. You will be required to be registered to provide these services from 13 January 2018 (subject to transitional arrangements for firms that were providing these services on or before 12 January 2016).

To apply, you should complete the form on our online system Connect.

Apply to become an authorised payment institution (API)

You can apply to become an API if you:

  • don’t qualify as a SPI, for example if your average monthly turnover in payment transactions is over the €3m threshold
  • want to provide payment services in the EEA (for example, through an agent based in another member state)

To apply, you should complete the form on our online system Connect.

Further information

Further information can be found in Chapter 3 of The FCA’s role under the Payment Services Regulations 2017: Our approach.

Apply to become an electronic money institution (EMI)

If you want to issue electronic money (e-money), you must register with or become authorised by us as an electronic money institution (EMI) in accordance with the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 (EMRs).

EMIs need to comply with the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017.

Firms that don’t need to register or be authorised

You are exempt from registration or authorisation if your firm is a:

  • credit institution
  • bank
  • building society
  • credit union, or
  • municipal bank

Instead you need Part 4A permission under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

Applications under the Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) 

PSD2 was published in the European Union's Official Journal on 23 December 2015. PSD2 will be implemented in the UK by the Payment Services Regulations 2017 (PSRs 2017), which amend the existing EMRs. The changes took effect on 13 January 2018. 

PSD2 aims to bring regulation up to date with developments in the payment services industry and to promote further innovation. It also aims to improve consumer protection, make payments safer and more secure, and drive down the cost of services by encouraging competition in the marketplace. Find out more about PSD2 and the PSRs 2017.

PSD2 will impact all firms that issue e-money and provide payment services. Firms that are authorised or registered under the current EMRs will need to apply to be re-authorised or re-registered under PSD2 and the amended EMRs in order to continue issuing e-money and providing payment services. Further information on application deadlines.

PSD2 is also relevant for new businesses seeking authorisation or registration under the EMRs. It will introduce a number of significant changes including new conditions of authorisation and registration. You are now able to submit applications under PSD2 and the amended EMRs. 

Businesses applying for re-authorisation or re-registration under PSD2 will need to provide all the information we need with an application by 13 April 2018 in order to continue operating on or after 13 July 2018. 

Register to become a small EMI

If you expect your business to not generate more than an average of €5m of outstanding e-money immediately before registration, you may apply to register as a small EMI.

You can also provide unrelated payment services if the average monthly turnover in payment transactions isn’t more than €3m. By ‘unrelated’ we mean payment services that do not arise directly as a consequence of your e-money activity.

You need to fill out the registration application for a small EMI via Connect.

Apply to become an authorised EMI

​​​​​You must apply to become an authorised EMI if your firm doesn’t qualify as a small EMI (if your business will generate more than €5m average outstanding e-money).

If your firm does qualify as a small EMI, you can still choose to apply to become an authorised EMI if, for example, you want to issue e-money in other European Economic Area member states.

Your firm can also provide other payment services not related to e-money (unrelated payment services).

Further information

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