Apply to become a payment institution

Find out how to apply to be authorised or registered with us if your firm wants to provide payment services.

To provide payment services 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 a registered firm. Registration is cheaper and simpler than authorisation, but registered firms are unable to provide payment services into other European Economic Area (EEA) member states.

Firms that don’t need to register or be authorised

You are exempt from registration or authorisation under the Payment Service Regulations if your firm is a:

  • credit union
  • bank
  • building society
  • e-money issuer
  • municipal bank, or
  • the National Savings Bank

Apply to become a small payment institution (SPI)

If your firm's average monthly turnover in payment transactions will be less than €3m, you can apply to register as a small payment institution (SPI).

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, or
  • 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 2009: Our approach.

Try our e-learning package for an overview on the Payment Services Directive.

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