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 Features of the AIFC and the Role of Payment Operators in Kazakhstan 


The Significance of the AIFC for Kazakhstan's economic

The Astana International Financial Center stands as a pivotal pillar in the economic framework of Kazakhstan. Owing to its extensive influence and broad reach, the AIFC has ascended to prominence among the foremost financial institutions in the region, encompassing various economic sectors.

The AIFC fostered an investment-friendly environment characterized by clear and consistent conditions for conducting business. The paramount objective of the center is to entice foreign investors into collaborative ventures, nurture the growth of local enterprises, and underpin the nation's sustainable economic progress.

One of the key responsibilities assumed by the AIFC is the oversight and regulation of payment operators in Kazakhstan. These entities play a pivotal role in facilitating seamless and secure financial transactions, both domestically and on the international stage. They constitute the bedrock of efficient payment mechanisms, connecting a diverse array of economic participants, ranging from corporate entities to individuals.

In the capacity of its regulatory function, the AIFC is actively engaged in constructing a robust infrastructure and formulating stringent standards to ensure the safety and transparency of every financial transaction. This process extends to monitoring compliance with financial regulations, encompassing measures aimed at combating money laundering and thwarting the financing of illicit organizations.

Astana IFC in Kazakhstan fortifies the financial infrastructure, ensuring the security of transactions and bolstering the financial industry's growth. Its endeavors are instrumental in buttressing the financial system's stability, propelling economic advancement, and nurturing an optimal environment conducive to entrepreneurship.


The Role of Payment Operators 

Efficiency of Financial Transactions

Accredited payment operators at the Astana IFC ensure the prompt execution of financial transactions, both domestically and internationally. Electronic payments enable nearly instantaneous fund transfers, eliminating the delays often associated with traditional banking systems.

Transaction Protection and Security

By employing cutting-edge encryption and information security techniques, payment processors minimize the risk of fraud and unauthorized access to financial data. Electronic payments empower customers to engage in transactions without divulging sensitive banking information.

Stimulating E-commerce

Payment operators in Kazakhstan bolster online businesses by facilitating electronic payments on websites and applications. This opens the doors to global markets, enabling companies to showcase their products and services to an international audience.

Operational Cost Optimization

Electronic payments typically prove more cost-effective than conventional bank transfers, resulting in reduced expenses for both businesses and consumers. This advantage is especially pronounced in large-scale transactions or currency conversions.

Financial Inclusion

Payment operators extend financial instruments to individuals who previously lacked access to traditional banking services. Electronic accounts and payment instruments empower individuals to conduct financial transactions even without a formal bank account.

Stimulating Economic Development

A developed payment system simplifies monetary transactions, fostering the flow of capital and thereby supporting business growth. Payment innovations can catalyze the emergence of new economic sectors.

Registering a payment operator in the Astana IFC aligns you with a system that facilitates swift, secure transactions, invigorates e-commerce, reduces transaction costs, and broadens financial inclusion.

Regulatory Oversight in the Astana International Financial Center

The activities of payment institutions in the Astana International Financial Center are subject to meticulous control. This adjustment was guided by the provisions of the “On Payments and Payment Systems” law, ratified on July 26, 2016. This legislation sets essential criteria and requirements for payment operators in the AIFC to foster the secure, dependable, and efficient execution of financial transactions. 


Payment organizations in Kazakhstan must obtain an AIFC license, ensuring compliance with financial stability and operational reliability standards.

Financial Guarantees:

Payment institutions are required to maintain financial reserves to protect customers' interests during extraordinary circumstances.

Data Protection:

Emphasis is placed on safeguarding customer data through robust security measures and requirements for the financial transactions facilitated in the AIFC.

Fighting Fraud:

Payment organizations in the AIFC are compelled to implement comprehensive measures to combat fraud and illegal financial transactions.

International Standards:

Alignment with global regulatory frameworks, including adherence to FATF recommendations, reinforces the AIFC's credibility on the global stage.

Adherence to the established rules and regulations forms the bedrock of the successful functioning of payment institutions in the Astana International Financial Center. This commitment not only instills confidence among customers but also fortifies the overall reliability of the financial market within this region.

Key financial and tax features

Payment operators registered in the AIFC are afforded the opportunity to avail themselves of specific tax benefits, underscoring the pivotal nature of this procedure in ensuring long-term success. With tax considerations, enterprises must demonstrate financial stability while adhering to stringent AIFC standards. Here, we delve into the key financial and tax features:

Tax Benefits:

Upon obtaining an AIFC payment operator license, such a company becomes eligible for significant tax benefits. Notably, the company is exempt from corporate income tax (CIT) and value-added tax (VAT). 

Starting Capital:

To initiate and effectively operate a business in the Astana IFC, it is imperative to possess the requisite starting capital of $100,000. The specific capital requirement may fluctuate based on the nature of the business and the associated risks. This criterion serves as a bulwark for the financial stability of the company, ensuring its capacity to meet obligations to clients and sustain a robust payment system.

Financial Security:

Payment operators are obligated to maintain financial reserves to cover potential payments in the event of unforeseen emergencies. This reserve acts as a safeguard, bolstering the company's reliability and protecting the interests of consumers. It underscores the commitment to maintaining the financial health and integrity of the AIFC ecosystem.

Financial Reporting:

Operators registered in the AIFC are obliged to furnish comprehensive financial reports regularly. This practice facilitates diligent oversight by regulatory authorities, enabling them to monitor the financial stability and operational activities of these entities. Transparent and timely financial reporting enhances trust and accountability within the financial landscape.

Financial stability and tax benefits nurture a conducive environment for payment operators in the AIFC. These features incentivize establishing businesses in the AIFC and reinforce the center's position as a preeminent destination for financial innovation and excellence.

Functionality of a Company with an AIFC Payment Operator License

Functionality Aspect


Electronic Payment Processing

The company can process electronic payments, including transfers, payments for goods and services, virtual wallets, and other financial transactions.

Payment Systems

The company can develop and implement its payment systems, offering convenient and secure payment methods for customers.

International Transactions

With an AIFC payment operator license, the company can conduct international transactions and transfers in various currencies.

Electronic Wallets

The company can create and manage electronic wallets, enabling clients to store funds, make transfers, and conduct online payments.

Currency Exchange

The company can provide currency exchange services, offering competitive rates and fast transactions to customers.

Sale or issue of payment instruments

The company can issue and sell various payment instruments, such as payment cards and gift cards, among others.

This functionality empowers a company with an AIFC payment operator license to efficiently and securely engage in electronic payment processing, offer payment services, and ensure the integrity of financial transactions.

The Process of Obtaining a Payment Operator License in the AIFC

The process of registering a payment operator in the AIFC begins with meticulous preparation of the necessary documentation. It is the crucial step in obtaining a payment license at the Astana IFC. Here are key details to consider during document preparation:


Preparation of Payment Operator Documentation

  • Incorporation Documents: Provide legal documents confirming your company's structure and status.
  • Questionnaires and Applications: Furnish comprehensive company information, including founders and managers' details.
  • Business Plan: Outline your company's goals, strategies, and financial stability measures.
  • Financial Documents: Include financial statements, balance sheets, and auditors' reports.
  • Personnel Documents: Provide the qualifications and experience of key personnel.
  • Other Materials: Depending on regulatory requirements, submit additional documents for legitimacy and reliability verification.

Registration Stages

  • Submitting an Application: Formally apply for a license to the AIFC.
  • Provision of Documents: Submit a complete set of required documents.
  • Payment of Registration Fees: For payment operators in Kazakhstan, it is necessary to pay the necessary registration and licensing fees.
  • Examination of Documents: Regulatory authorities review documents for accuracy and compliance.
  • Obtaining Permission: After a successful examination, you will receive authorization to conduct financial activities.

The process of registering a payment operator in the AIFC mandates meticulous preparation and adherence to requirements, ensuring a smooth commencement of payment operator activities.

Prospects for the Development of the Payment Operator Market in Kazakhstan

  • Technological: The growth of digital technologies and e-commerce fuels increased demand for payment operator services.
  • Economic: The rising adoption of electronic payments by businesses and individuals creates growth prospects.
  • Innovative: The implementation of technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence may revolutionize payment processes.
  • Extension: Opportunities to scale activities beyond Kazakhstan, attracting international clients and investors.
  • Regulation: Improved legislation and regulation can create a stable and secure environment for payment processors.
  • Financial: Increased transaction volumes and customers can lead to higher revenue and profits for payment processors.

The payment operator market in Kazakhstan holds significant promise, driven by the increasing emphasis on digital payments and electronic financial solutions by both businesses and society.

Thus, the process of creating a payment business in the Astana IFC begins with submitting an application and ends with obtaining an operating license. Careful attention to documentation and compliance with regulatory requirements at every stage of the process is critical and helps avoid common mistakes. Compliance and data accuracy speed up the registration process, minimizing delays.

Our team of experts, specializing in opening payment licenses within the AIFC, is ready to provide comprehensive guidance and support for starting a business in Kazakhstan. To start a conversation, please fill out the feedback form.