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A payment operator's licence in Kazakhstan is issued by the National Bank of the country for operating as a payment service provider (PSP). It permits the holder to offer several payment services, including payment processing, money transfers, e-wallet services and other related financial transactions. The licence guarantees that the payment service provider adheres to regulatory requirements, protecting the interests of customers. 

Obtaining a payment operator licence in Kazakhstan requires meeting specific criteria and submitting the necessary documentation to the National Bank of the country. The article offers a breakdown of the stages and criteria involved in the licensing process.

What makes Kazakhstan an appealing destination for payment service provider licences?

Lately, the payment market in the Republic of Kazakhstan has blossomed due to the implementation of contemporary technologies and measures aimed at streamlining payment processes. 

The country entices payment service providers through a variety of favourable factors, such as its flourishing economy and rapidly developing market. This presents opportunities for delivering payment services and luring customers.

The advantageous geographic location of Kazakhstan, situated at the heart of Eurasia, can prove particularly profitable when providing payment services to clients from various regions. Moreover, the regulatory environment is favourable, with the introduction of legislation and rules by the government to ease the operation of payment service providers. The regulatory framework promotes innovation and guarantees the safety and stability of payment systems.

Kazakhstan possesses a competitive payment services market that appeals to providers in pursuit of growth and scale. The market presents growth possibilities due to the burgeoning digital economy.

The government offers support and incentives to fintech startups in Kazakhstan, including payment service providers. Regulators promote innovation and offer programmes to develop financial technologies and digital payment solutions.

Additionally, the government invests in modern infrastructure to support payment service providers, including the creation of secure networks and digital banking services.  

The increasing popularity of cashless payments underlines the importance of advancing these developments. Over the past few years, the amount of cashless payments in the country has risen significantly, almost tripling in size.

Kazakhstan has actively worked with international organisations to enhance its payment infrastructure and facilitate cross-border transactions.

These measures aid the advancement of a competitive payment services sector. Specialists in the field can provide comprehensive guidance on acquiring a payment system operator licence in Kazakhstan and offer support throughout every stage of the procedure.

Legal regulation of payment operators in Kazakhstan

Payment operators must abide by the Law on Payments and Payment Systems, which lays down the legal standards that they are required to adhere to. It is a crucial legislation that plays a crucial part in streamlining and regulating the activities of payment system operators, thereby organising the payment market effectively.

As per legislation, payment operators must register with the National Register of Payment Organisations maintained by the Central Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Additionally, they must possess a licence to conduct relevant activities.

The law governs matters relating to payment system organisation and functioning. It stipulates requirements for technical standards and security procedures for payment transactions, among other things. It also establishes the responsibility of payment operators and the entitlements of payment system users. Payment operators may face sanctions and fines as set out by the legislation in case of any infringements.

To legally operate in Kazakhstan, payment operators must comply with certain requirements to obtain a payment licence.

Licensing is a key factor and payment service providers (PSPs) must obtain a licence from the National Bank of Kazakhstan. The licence is issued for a fixed term and must be periodically renewed.

  • Additionally, PSPs must meet specific capital requirements in order to ensure financial stability and reliability. The exact sum fluctuates according to the nature of the payment transactions executed by the operator.
  • Measures against money laundering (AML) and funding of illegal organizations (CFT) are in place. Kazakhstan's PSP licence mandates the implementation of strong AML and CFT measures to hinder the utilization of services for illicit purposes. This encompasses performing customer due diligence, scrutinizing transactions, and notifying the appropriate authorities of dubious activities.
  • Data protection. Payment providers must implement secure and safe systems to safeguard customer data and maintain the privacy of financial transactions.
  • Transparency and consumer protection are key factors. Payment service providers (PSPs) operating in Kazakhstan must furnish their customers with dependable and open information regarding fees, terms and conditions, and dispute resolution procedures. They should also possess mechanisms to handle customer grievances.
  • Reporting and record keeping is critical. Payment operators are required to maintain transaction records and report them as necessary to the NBK. They should keep precise and current records for regulatory and audit purposes.

Payment operators must remain abreast of any new or additional requirements imposed by the country's regulator to ensure regulatory compliance.

Eligibility criteria

In your pursuit of obtaining a payment operator's licence in Kazakhstan, it is imperative to meet specific eligibility criteria that the regulatory authorities have put in place. Understanding and satisfying these requirements is a fundamental step on the path to compliance and licensure. Below, we outline the key eligibility criteria you must address to qualify for a payment operator's licence:

Corporate structure

Your business structure must conform to the legal requirements of Kazakhstan. Typically, this involves establishing a legal entity, such as a limited liability company or joint-stock company, which will serve as the operational core of your payment operator business.

Capital requirements

The minimum registered capital is an essential consideration. You must ensure that your company's capital meets or exceeds the prescribed threshold, as set by the relevant regulatory authorities. These capital requirements serve as a safeguard, ensuring your ability to meet financial obligations and manage potential risks.

Ownership restrictions

Understanding the ownership restrictions is critical. The ownership structure of your payment operator business must align with the regulatory guidelines. Ownership by foreign entities or individuals may be subject to certain restrictions, and it's crucial to be aware of these limitations.

Residency requirements

In some cases, residency requirements may apply, indicating that individuals or entities involved in the ownership or management of the payment operator must be residents of Kazakhstan or meet specific residency criteria.

Fit and proper test

Regulatory authorities may conduct a “fit and proper” test to assess the competence, experience, and integrity of the individuals responsible for the payment operator's operations. This evaluation ensures that those in charge have the necessary qualifications and a history of ethical business conduct.

Risk management framework

Demonstrating a robust risk management framework is a key eligibility criterion. You need to establish and present a comprehensive risk management strategy that addresses various aspects, including operational, financial, and security risks.

Compliance with AML/CFT measures

Compliance with AML/CTF measures is a fundamental requirement. Your payment operator business must have well-defined policies and procedures in place to prevent illicit financial activities.

Meeting these eligibility criteria is a critical first step in your journey towards obtaining a payment operator's licence in Kazakhstan. It is essential to thoroughly research and understand these requirements, as failure to meet them can result in delays or potential disqualification during the application process. In the subsequent sections, we will explore the intricacies of the application process in more detail to help you navigate it effectively.

Application process

Once you know the rules for getting a payment operator's licence in Kazakhstan, you can apply for it. This section shows you how to apply for a payment operator's licence step by step. It helps you complete the process quickly and in compliance with regulations.

Step 1: Preliminary assessment.

Before starting the official application process, it's best to do a self-evaluation. Verify that your payment operation complies with the requirements discussed in Section 3. Fill any gaps in company structure, financing conditions, or ownership arrangements.

Step 2: Collect all the needed records and details necessary for the application. 

This generally involves providing legal papers such as Articles of Incorporation, Charter, and Registration Certificate for your entity. Additionally, you will need to provide a comprehensive business plan, evidence of sufficient registered capital, documents verifying the eligibility of your key personnel, a comprehensive risk management framework, AML/CFT policies and procedures, detailed financial statements.

Step 3: Submitting an application.

Submit your application to the appropriate regulatory body. In Kazakhstan, this organization is usually the National Bank. Make sure your submission is comprehensive, precise, and well-documented to prevent any delays or difficulties during the review stage.

In Step 4, the regulatory body will carefully examine your application. 

This procedure might require meetings, vetting, and a comprehensive check of your enterprise strategy and financial security.

Step 5: Approval and release.

Once the review and inspection process has been successfully completed, and all regulatory requirements are met, the regulatory authority will then issue the licence, setting out the terms and conditions that you must follow.

Compliance and reporting remains ongoing after you have been granted your payment operator's licence. It's important to follow the rules and regulations set by the regulatory authority. If you don't, you may face penalties or lose your licence. This involves ongoing monitoring of your payment operator business by the National Bank of Kazakhstan or other relevant authorities to make sure you keep complying with the regulations. Regular checks and reviews might take place to check that you are complying with the rules.

It's essential to carry out the application process with great care and attention to detail. You should seek the assistance of legal and financial experts who are qualified.

PSP licence in Kazakhstan: List of services

Payment service providers can offer a comprehensive range of services, including 

  • Mobile wallet services that enable users to make payments using their smartphones. These services usually connect users' bank accounts or credit cards to their mobile devices, allowing them to make quick and secure payments.
  • Additionally, they offer money transfer services that permit individuals to send and receive funds both domestically and internationally.
  • Bill payment services, including utility bills, insurance premiums, credit card bills and other recurring payments, can be simplified by utilising a single platform for managing multiple accounts.
  • In addition to this, prepaid card services are available and widely accepted for online purchases and ATM withdrawals.

Some payment operators may also provide additional financial services, such as currency exchange and microcredit.


Obtaining a payment operator licence in Kazakhstan is a complex process that requires a good understanding of the country's financial rules and strict compliance with the regulator's requirements. This guide has given you the necessary information to navigate the regulatory landscape effectively.

We suggest seeking professional help, staying up-to-date with legal changes, and regularly evaluating and adjusting your risk management system to prevent future issues.

IQ Decision UK is available to give in-depth guidance on regulating payment systems in Kazakhstan and help with the paperwork required for obtaining a licence.

If you're interested in getting help with registering a company for payment activities in Kazakhstan, please fill out our consultation form on payment service regulations in Kazakhstan.