Legal advice order form on obtaining an EMI license in Ireland
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If you are interested in obtaining an EMI license in European countries, take a closer look at Ireland. The setup of an Irish fintech company is a great solution for the following reasons:

  • The only English-speaking country in the EU after Brexit;
  • The developed Irish technology and financial sector makes Ireland a natural choice for registering British Electronic Money Institutions as an alternative base in the EU after Brexit.
  • E-money issuing institutions are regulated and required to obtain an E-Money license in Ireland.
  • Low tax rates;
  • It is possible to obtain a "passport" in the EEA (European Economic Area) through the establishment of a branch in the EU, or the provision of international services.
  • Comprehensive support of the government in the development of entrepreneurship;
  • Commitment to EU membership;
  • Flexible employment laws;
  • The legal system of common law;
  • Highly skilled workforce;
  • R&D (Research & Development) incentives;
  • Ease and comfort of setting up a business

Who can get EMI license?

A payment system (EMI) permit is issued by the financial regulator Central Bank of Ireland (CBI). The legal framework governing the CBI is the EU directive (Directive 2009/110 / EC), which became the basis of the Irish financial legislation, as well as the additions of the European Union (Payment Services) Regulations 2018 (PSR) that entered into force on in January 2018.

A payment system registered in Ireland can operate throughout the European Economic Community (EEC).

Applicant Requirements

A license is issued to companies that are established and actually do fintech business in Ireland. The office of the company must meet the safety standards established by the CBI.

There also additional requirements such as:

  • the owners of the fintech company should have the necessary qualifications and understanding of the activities of the payment system;
  • the operational structure and risk management system should be separated, and current operations are closely monitored.

To this end, the structure of the company should include employees responsible for the main line of business and employees involved in risk management.

It is recommended to hire an Irish specialist, or a company dealing with risk management, security issues of transfers and anti-money laundering.

EMIs for obtaining a license will require: a business plan, an approved security policy, control and management mechanisms, confirmation of the financial and technical capabilities of the activity.

Types of Lisencing

A fintech company can obtain a license of one of two types:

  • a license from an electronic money institution in Ireland (full license);
  • a license of a small institution for the issuance of E-money (SEMI).

Institutions with a full EMI license in Ireland, you have an access to certification - the right to issue, distribute electronic money and provide services throughout the EU.

Obtaining a SEMI license in Ireland implies that its owners are exempt from many (although not all) authorization requirements, but as a result their authorization will be limited. They must not make monthly payment transactions of more than 3 million EUR, they cannot provide payment services outside of Ireland.

Basic conditions for issuing an EMI license in Ireland

If you want to engage in the issue of E-money in Ireland or provide payment services, you must fulfill the following conditions without fail:

  • Submit a fully completed and signed application;
  • Indicate applicant details for identification;
  • Submit a business plan;
  • Confirm the initial capital (350 000 EUR);
  • Introduce procedures for monitoring, processing and controlling security, tracking and restricting access to confidential payment data;
  • Provide information on mechanisms for ensuring business continuity, internal control to fulfill obligations regarding AML / CTF policy;
  • Provide information about shareholders, including the structure of the group and the necessary supporting documents;
  • Professional liability insurance;
  • Obtain approval from CBI regarding senior management and certain company managers;
  • Adopt minimum standards to protect customer funds.

Key Issues for EMI Applicants in Ireland

Conducting business: for those who are interested in obtaining an Electronic Money Institution license in Ireland, we recall that a prerequisite is the holding of meetings of the Board of Directors and shareholders to ensure that the company operates in accordance with financial regulations, in compliance with regulatory requirements. It is also necessary to develop and implement measures to prevent risks.

Outsourcing: A company must provide a full range of measures to supervise business functions outsourced through comprehensive outsourcing agreements that comply with regulatory requirements.

Shareholders: detailed information is required regarding qualified shareholders, including direct, indirect, legal and beneficial shareholders throughout the ownership chain.

Protecting clients’ funds: Entrepreneurs who intend to obtain an EMI license in Ireland must confirm that their business rules and policies comply with Irish law and the minimum standards for protecting clients’ funds.

Help of lawyers

Seasoned lawyers at IQ Decision UK have extensive experience in the fintech sector. We provide legal advice on obtaining an EMI license in Ireland. You can contact our experts by filling out the application form below, or in another way convenient for you.