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Given the explosive growth of e-commerce marketplaces & relaxed regulatory requirements for business registration in Japan, cross-border payments are becoming increasingly commonplace in the country. Since wire transfers through banking networks are often too expensive, there has been a significant increase in the number of alternative money transfer solutions in the recent years. 

Because the single license wasn’t optimally structured, the Japanese parliament has adopted several key amendments to the current legislation, making money transfers & opening a financial company in Japan a lot easier.

So, let’s have a closer look at the new procedure for obtaining a money transfer license in Japan.

Japan: Obtaining a Financial Services License

Previously, obtaining a financial services license in Japan wasn’t necessary for collection agencies (entities collecting money from a debtor & transferring it to a lender for a fee) that provided services to both corporate & individual clients. And while collecting money for corporate clients was more or less within the legal boundaries, services provided for individual clients involved a redundant fee payable to both the agencies & lenders. Therefore, an amendment was made to the current legislation whereby the said collection agencies must now apply for a money transfer license in Japan to continue their operations.

Japan: Obtaining Different Types of Money Transfer License

Under the current legislation, no more than JPY 1 million can be transferred per a transaction. However, this limitation negatively impacts major operators transferring large sums of money for corporate clients. It also affects smaller operators transferring smaller amounts of money & having to obtain a money transfer license in Japan. To make things easier for both, the Japanese government has introduced 3 types of licenses:

  • Number 1: allows the transfer of unlimited funds per transaction but requires specifying the maximum amount in a license application.
  • Number 2: allows the transfer of no more than JPY 1 million per transaction.
  • Number 3: allows the transfer of smaller amounts of money (the precise amount isn’t specified but is said to be no more than fifty thousand yen per transaction).

IMPORTANT:

License holders must ensure compliance with the KYC requirement. There are no plans to amend a law imposing this requirement.

Restrictions on Transfers

Despite a regulatory restriction of one million yen per transaction, MT operators holding a Japanese money transfer license enable their customers to transfer & retain more than one million yen via their quasi-wallets. This has drawn a lot of criticism & caused the government to amend the current legislation. 

From now on holders of Type 1 license can receive no more than the client intends to transfer. Also, holders of Type 3 license may not receive an amount that exceeds the one indicated in their license application.

Conclusion

As per amended legislation, MT operators are forbidden to receive & retain funds exceeding the allowed transfer amounts. We will be continuing to monitor the impact of the latest amendments on the Japanese financial market & providing you with the updates as soon as they emerge.

If you still have questions regarding the topic of the article or are considering getting a financial services license in Japan, do not hesitate to contact IQ Decision UK. Our legal advisors will be happy to give you a hand with any legal issues you’re currently facing in this regard.