Authorisation and registration: e-money institutions (EMI) and payment institutions (PI)

If your firm provides e-money or payment services, you must be authorised or registered with us. You must also comply with our conduct requirements and give us information that allows us to regulate your businesses accurately.

If your firm provides payment services, it must:

  • be registered or authorised by us, unless you’re exempt
  • meet the conduct of business requirements of the Payment Services Regulations 2017 (the PSRs)
  • provide us with annual reporting information so we can supervise your business (for example, details of the value of your payment transactions)
  • keep us informed of any changes in your firm (for example, if you want to vary the payment services you provide)
  • make sure that your customers’ payments are secure and safe

This includes:

  • money remitters
  • non-bank credit card issuers
  • non-bank merchant acquirers

Second payment services directive (PSD2)

PSD2 was published in the European Union's Official Journal on 23 December 2015. PSD2 was implemented in the UK by the PSRs on 13 January 2018. It affected all firms that were providing payment services. 

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

The PSRs and Electronic Money Regulations 2011 (EMRs) implemented PSD2 and 2EMD in the UK. Those regulations have been amended since, including by the Electronic Money, Payment Services and Payment Systems (Amendment and Transitional Provisions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. 

Authorisation and registration

You can now apply for authorisation or registration under the PSRs.

Firms that need to be registered as a small payment institution (SPI)

If your firm operates below an average monthly turnover in payment transactions of €3m, it may register as an SPI.

If, under the PSRs, you intend to provide account information services only, you can apply to become a registered account information service provider (RAISP). 

Firms that need to be authorised as an authorised payment institution (API)

You can apply to become an API if your firm doesn’t qualify as an SPI or a RAISP.

If you are unsure whether your activities fall within the scope of the PSRs, consult our Perimeter Guidance.

Firms that need to be registered as a small electronic money institution (SEMI)

If you expect your total business activities not to exceed an average of €5m outstanding e-money immediately before registration, you may wish to apply to register as a SEMI.

You can also provide payment services that are unrelated to e-money, but only if the average monthly turnover in payment transactions does not exceed €3m (unrelated payment services).

Firms that need to be authorised as an authorised electronic money institution

You can apply to become an authorised EMI if your firm does not qualify as a SEMI, for example, if the expected average outstanding e-money will exceed €5m.

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

What we need from you for authorisation or registration

When you apply for authorisation or registration, you must provide us with certain information.

E-money:

  • what e-money services and payment services you want to provide, set out in a business plan
  • who’ll be responsible for providing the services, for example a manager or an agent on your behalf
  • details of any person or firm with 10% or more of the capital or voting rights in your firm

Payment institutions:

  • what payment services you want to provide
  • who’ll be responsible for providing the services (for example, if a manager or an agent is acting on your behalf)
  • details of any person or firm with 10% or more of the capital or voting rights in your firm

Conduct of business requirements

All PIs must comply with the conduct of business requirements set out in the PSRs. These fall into 2 categories:

  • information to be provided to the customer before and after carrying out a payment, and
  • the rights and obligations of both the PI and the customer regarding payment transactions

The EMRs set out the obligations that apply to EMIs as you conduct e-money business. They relate to the issuing and redeeming of e-money and the prohibition on paying interest or other benefits linked to the length of time that e-money is held.

EMIs that provide payment services must also comply with the conduct of business requirements set out in the PSRs 2017. 

For more information, see Chapter 8 of Payment Services and Electronic Money: Our Approach.

Reporting requirements for authorised or registered PIs

Authorised and registered PIs must:

  • provide regular reporting information to comply with our supervisory obligations
  • send notifications when there’s a significant change in your circumstances

Notify changes in circumstances

We need accurate information on PIs to monitor your business. It is important that you tell us if you make changes to your business, such as: