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FAQ: License, Bank Account & Regulation

What is the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and why is it important to you?

With the arrival of the PSD2, all EU and UK authorised firms must re-apply to their financial regulator in order to retain their license. Payment Institutions and Electronic Money Institutions are tasked to ensure that they have implemented new IT rules, security protocols and further enhanced compliance if they wish to be able to continue to provide their services.

A brief example of some of the IT rules are:

  • Procedures for monitoring security incidents
  • Handling security related customer complaints
  • Implementing incident reporting systems
  • Managing the data for sensitive payments
  • Detailed Business Continuity Planning
  • Risk assessments
  • Identification of fraud risks
  • Management of personal data

Why the need for PSD2?

  • The new rules are designed to make Payment Institutions enhance and review business performance
  • The new requirements could work to improve the security of your business and so in turn improve the attractiveness of your business to customers, thus making the sector more viable and safer amidst the current market climate
  • You can make online payments to merchants without going through PayPal or Visa
  • Stronger ID checks on your customers to ensure security and fraud prevention
  • Breaking down the monopoly of the banks who will have to share customer data with merchants
  • Banks should share their API with licensed firms to facilitate payments and other functions

What does PSD2 say about hidden fees?

In Spring next year, the UK Parliament will debate the Payment Services Regulations. These regulations will write PSD2 into UK law, but the Government can decide what is (and isn’t) upheld.
The PSD2 prohibits the use of non- transparent pricing methods for international payments. What this means is that banks and brokers cannot hide costs in the form of poor exchange rates which are much lower than the market rate seen on Google.

Timescales

Small Payment Institutions (SPIs) must register before 13 October 2018.
Authorised Payment Institutions (APIs) must register before 13 April 2018.
Small e-money institutions (SEMIs) must register before 13 April 2018.
Authorised e-money institutions (AEMIs) must register before 13 April 2018.

Can you help with Money Service Business (MSB) licenses in Europe and the US?

Yes we can help any firm established or looking to establish in the UK, Europe and the US.

How long does it take to get our MSB license in the UK?

It is tricky to tell how long it will take for a firm to get their MSB license. There are different types of MSB licenses – Small Payment Institution, Authorised Payment InstitutionSmall E-Money Institution and Authorised E-Money Institution. We at RemitONE work with some of the leading remittance consulting firms in the industry and offer end to end money transfer solutions. Based on what we observe, an SPI license can take anywhere from one to three months; API license can take three to six months and E-Money license can take around 8 months. Of course, the time it takes for you to get your license depends on a number of factors and the time frames given here are just estimates and can indeed vary.

Can you help me get my SPI and API licenses?

Yes we can help you acquire licenses for Small Payment Institution, Authorised Payment Institution, Small E-Money Institution and Authorised E-Money Institution. To date, we have helped countless firms get licensed in the UK, Europe and the US. We work with the most well-known remittance consulting firms in the industry. We have a 98% success rate in helping firms get licensed in the UK and Europe.

Can you help with our Remittance business bank account in the UK and Europe?

Yes we can. As you can appreciate, this is one of the most challenging things to do in our industry; hence there are no guarantees. But with our experienced consultants and our industry proven, compliant and secure money transfer platform supporting you, you can indeed significantly improve your chances of getting your own bank account. Get more information.

I want to set up my own money transfer business. What steps must I take to become operational at the earliest?

In order to set up your own money transfer business in your country, you essentially need to carry out the following four tasks:

  • Have a reliable money transfer system in place. Arrange a demo with us.
  • Apply for a money service business (MSB) license with your regulator (if you are based in the UK, you need to register with HMRC and apply for a Small Payment Institution (SPI) or Authorised Payment Institution (API) license with the Financial Conduct Authority).
  • Attain a special money transfer bank account with a licensed financial services institution in your country (e.g. Barclay’s Bank in the UK).
  • Partner with a delivery/pay-out network in the destination country where you plan to send money. Alternatively, you can make use of our existing contacts with established delivery agents worldwide. See RemitONE Connections.

RemitONE Consulting can help you get started as a money transfer operator from start-up to expansion and beyond. Our training sessions, contract and professional introductions can give your license application credibility from a trusted name. Enquire about RemitONE Consulting.

Do I really need a system to manage my money transfer business? Why do I need a system if I can work with spread-sheets?

Compliance is a big issue in the remittance industry and almost all central banks/regulators around the globe are encouraging money service businesses to adopt a secure, robust and compliant remittance platform that can effectively enforce proper KYC procedures and AML/block-list checks against remitters and beneficiaries and track all transactional information for compliance purposes.

Another reason why governments are recommending automated remittance platforms to money service businesses is because such platforms make use of the latest technologies to improve the speed and efficiency of transactions. Modern money transfer platforms can perform all the required checks and provide the required information to the correct delivery agent instantly. They store all the relevant identification documents in one place and enhance customer service by making business critical information instantly available to your send and delivery agents.

Additionally, these automated remittance platforms can also provide very accurate financial information about your business, profit/loss on a per transaction level and reports for auditing and compliance purposes.

What is a money transfer business?

Essentially, a money transfer or remittance business involves offering the service to collect money from the sender and deliver it to the beneficiary. This can be a local service within the same country or a cross-border/international service between two or more countries.

A business managing the remittance process is called a money service business (MSB) which can include banks and money transfer operators (MTOs).

In most cases, the remitter will go to a physical location (shop, kiosk, etc.) and hand cash to the MTO teller which is then sent to the beneficiary in another country. The MTO will agree with a delivery agent (typically a bank) an exchange rate between the send and delivery currencies along with any additional charges, such as commissions, head office fee, etc. The remitter will be given a receipt showing all the details including who the money should be picked up by and how much delivery currency will be given.

The MTO then deposits the cash into their bank account, and when it has collected a large amount, it will typically make a bulk transfer to the delivery agent in the destination country. This is usually done daily, weekly or monthly, depending on the agreement between the MTO and the delivery agent.

The delivery agent delivers the money to the beneficiary at the agent’s physical location (shop, agent outlet etc.) once they receive instructions from the MTO.

Depending on the agreement between the MTO and the delivery agent, the latter may deliver the money on credit, or request for a deposit to be kept up-front from the MTO. The delivery agent will usually charge a commission for its service.

Each send-receive cycle is referred to as a transaction.

The MTO usually makes a profit in two ways:

  • By offering a lower exchange rate to the remitter than what the MTO must pay to the delivery agent.
  • By charging a fee or commission for the service (this fee usually varies depending on the amount being sent).

Some newer developments in the remittance industry are:

  • Allowing the remitter to create and pay for a transaction through a mobile phone or an Internet portal or website. In this scenario, the remitter does not have to physically go to a shop or an agent outlet.
  • Allowing the remitter to create and pay for a transaction using SMS text messages. Again, in this case, the remitter does not have to physically go to a shop or an agent outlet.
  • Remitter and beneficiary receipts can be sent automatically by email or SMS text messages.
  • Remitter can top-up the airtime on the beneficiary’s mobile phone.

Our solution diagram provides more information. Arrange a demo with us to find out more.

What Others Say

I work closely with RemitONE on a number of Money Service Business opportunities and RemitONE continue to be enormously diligent and professional in their approach to the sector.

David Lambert, EVP
Secure Trading

The RemitONE platform has been built to meet the needs of all types of banks and money transfer operators. It has been developed with a thorough understanding of the remittance market and therefore addresses the specific needs of the industry – this contrasts with a number of other systems which are really adjusted banking systems and are not appropriate for remittance operations. The RemitONE platform is appropriate for businesses around the world and is particularly strong for managing agent networks and compliance.

Leon Isaacs, Managing Director
Developing Markets Associates

Every successful business needs reliable technology. Within a very short span of time, Arab Link has risen to provide money transfer services to over 30 countries. This could not have been possible without the support and ‘technological backbone’ provided to us by RemitONE.

Mr Sohail Nizami, General Manager
Moneymo, Arablink, UK


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