In the United Kingdom, the financial regulator was the Financial Services Authority (or FSA). The FSA was later disbanded and split up into two organizations:

The role of the two entities was set as follows:
Financial Conduct Authority

“The FCA regulate the financial services industry in the UK. Their aim is to protect consumers, ensure the industry remains stable and promote healthy competition between financial services providers.”
Prudential Regulation Authority

“The PRA is a part of the Bank of England and responsible for the prudential regulation and supervision of banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms. It sets standards and supervises financial institutions at the level of the individual firm.”

The FCA is the authority that actually grants the UK Payment Institution License which is what what most money transmitters require, unless of course you are issuing e-money in which case the UK Payment Institution License is not the correct one, but the UK E-Money License is the one to get. For example if you are a money transfer company that wants to specialize in the transferring of money (remittances) from the UK to other parts of the world, then UK Payment Institution License is what you would most likely apply for. Companies starting out in this space might apply for the Small UK Payment Institution License (or SPI).

Electronic Money Institution

Electronic money institution license or E-Money license is issued for the following usage:

“If you want to issue electronic money (e-money) you must register with or become authorised by us as an electronic money institution (EMI).”

Source: FCA – Emoney License

As a company, if you are planning to offer stored value, i.e. storing or issuance of electronic money in a digital wallet, then you would need an e-money license.

Payment Services Institution

“Firms must be authorised by or registered with us to provide payment services like electronic credit card transactions and money transfer operations, under the Payment Services Regulations.”

Source: FCA – PI License

Conversely, as a company if you are planning to do everything else but e-money issuance, you don’t need an e-money license, but rather a PI license. Money Transmitters (MTs), Money Services Businesses (MSBs) fall in this category, so do Remittance & Money Transfer Operators (MTOs).

For both the entities above, there are two types of licenses issued:

  • Registered (or Small)
  • Authorized

Either license you opt for, all companies must also register with HM Revenue & Customs.

There is an exemption status (from both authorized or registered) if your company is one of the following:

  • Credit Institution
  • Bank
  • Building Society
  • Credit Union, or
  • Municipal Bank

What Is The Difference Between Registered And Authorized?

The difference between registered (also known as the Small Payment Institution License) and authorized hinges on four variables:

  • Application Fees
  • Passporting Rights
  • Paid Up Capital
  • Revenue Size

Prifinance can provide the Whole Complex of Licensing in the UK

Experienced experts of Prifinance Company will consult on all aspects of e-money systems licensing and minimize the risks of the permission dismissal:

  • we will select an optimal form of the company and help to register a business in the UK;
  • we will help to prepare all necessary policies and descriptions, a business plan;
  • we will prepare and verify the correctness of the documents package for the company, shareholders;
  • we will support the implementation of management requirements;
  • we will help to apply to FCA, open an account in the UK or other jurisdictions.

The UK license is the way to the UK and world markets, unhindered cooperation with any financial institutions. With our support, you can quickly get down to the work, having fulfilled all the UK’s conditions.

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