Provision of payment services requires activity license
Companies that provide payment services and wish to continue providing these services must apply for a paying authority’s activity license or the required concession license.
Companies are generally not permitted to continue providing payment services without a license from 23 May 2010. It is thereby irrelevant whether the provision of payment services is the principal or an ancillary activity of the company.
The new Paying Authorities and Electronic Money Institutions Act that entered into force on 22 January 2010 established new rules to the activities of payment service providers and the exercise of supervision, pursuant to which provision of payment service is an area of economic activities where licensing is required. The Act requires payment service providers to make their activities comply with the requirements of the Paying Authorities and Electronic Money Institutions Act within four months of the Act’s entry into force.
The regulator has prescribed different deadlines for applying for an activity license or the concession license specified in the Act. If a company provided payment services before 25 December 2007 and it can prove it, then such a company may provide payment services without an activity license until 30 April 2011. If activities started after 25 December 2007, the payment service provider is required to hold an activity license or concession license for provision of payment services from 23 May 2010.
The Financial Supervision Authority makes its decision on the grant or refusal of an activity license within three months of receipt of all required documents and information, but not later than six months after receipt of the activity license application. The Financial Supervision Authority makes its decision on the grant or refusal of a concession license within one month of receipt of all required documents and information, but not later than three months after receipt of the application.
Payment service is a service that makes it possible to pay cash into and withdraw it from payment accounts, to dispense means of payment or payment instruments, execute payment transactions and transfer money.
There are 60 payment service providers currently registered in the Register of Economic Activities. Companies that continue to provide payment services without a licensed will be punished with a fine of up to 500,000 kroons. Submission of documents to apply for an activity license in itself does not grant the right to operate in the relevant area as the right for this is granted with the activity license or concession license issued by the Financial Supervision Authority.