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EMI license in the UK: the ultimate financial passport

6/14/2023 8:00:00 AM
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Seeking to bridge financial borders in today's increasingly interconnected digital economy? The answer could lie in securing an EMI license in the UK. By obtaining an EMI license, you can open the doors to vast opportunities that are otherwise inaccessible. Keep reading to find out how this license can help your business. 

What is an electronic money institution: UK and its advantages

EMI stands for “electronic money institution” and constitutes an outstanding financial product, especially when registered in the right jurisdiction. The EMI license in the UK paves the way for businesses to participate in an array of financial activities. These include the ability to offer customers an unlimited number of IBAN accounts, electronic money issuance, distribution, and redemption, as well as money remittance services. Moreover, it enables the provision of payment card issuing services, merchant acquiring services, and even a limited range of client fund investment options.

So, how to get an EMI license? Obtaining an EMI license involves navigating through a detailed and stringent process under the watchful eyes of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s primary financial regulatory body. The FCA seeks to ensure that you operate a well-structured, meticulously planned, and sufficiently resourced company. Hence, the authority requires a robust business proposition and a clear 3-to-5-year plan as crucial elements when obtaining an EMI license.

When it comes to advantages, the UK presents excellent ones. Another option is to establish an EMI license in Spain, a topic that we covered in this article. The only advantage of Spain over the UK is that the former offers passporting rights within the European Economic Area. But, if you choose the Anglo-Saxon country, one of the unique features of the UK electronic money services landscape is the flexibility to outsource the technological aspects of your business to a parent company based abroad. However, keep in mind that you need an experienced team that can guide you to ensure compliance with all requirements and prerequisites, providing indispensable aid in acquiring your EMI license in the UK.

We partnered with a provider that covers key aspects, such as identifying and recruiting two UK-based directors and establishing a safeguarding bank account. Furthermore, they can assist with smart office arrangements within the UK, a vital component of operating as an electronic money institution in the country.

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How to get an EMI license in the UK

You have to take the usual steps that any business needs at the time of incorporation, including presenting an application and proving that the business owners and managers are trustworthy. Here we have narrowed the process down to five steps:

Step one: open an electronic money institution (UK)

You need to gather the required documents that include: a business plan, safeguarding and risk policy, a structure of the business organization, arrangement for IT tasks and outsourcing, preparation of AML models, and drafting of clients’ agreement. 

Note: these are only some of the requirements. Make sure to consult with a professional to get the updated and definitive list.

Step 2: create a company

At this stage, you incorporate a company and open a bank account so you're able to operate. Your provider will help you settle all your corporate matters.

Step 3: apply for an E-money license (UK)

Now you’ll be submitting the documents for the license per se.

Step 4: follow up

It's essential that you're in touch with the regulatory authority to make sure that they’re revising the documents properly and timely. A good provider can take care of this for you.

Step 5: get approval for obtaining an EMI license

Once you get approval you will be able to offer UK electronic money services.

Electronic money institution: UK time frames

The time frame for obtaining an EMI license varies depending on the completeness of your application. Should the application be deemed complete by the FCA, you can expect a decision within three months. An incomplete submission, however, might extend this period to up to 12 months. The clock starts ticking after a case officer is assigned by the FCA, a process that typically takes about 21 business days. 

Contact the Mundo team and find out how we can help you from the submission of your application to the moment the license is in your hands. All in all, you’ll need reliable assistance when applying for your license. Also, you’ll need to maintain regular correspondence with the FCA. The best way of doing this is through a local provider with plenty of expertise when it comes to the electronic money institution, UK, and its legislation. 

Why the UK?

In the global financial landscape, the United Kingdom has long distinguished itself as an advanced and sophisticated financial center. The factors contributing to its ascendancy are manifold, and they all helped build a thriving ecosystem that seamlessly merges tradition with innovation.

Firstly, the UK, and specifically London, benefits from a strategic time zone that facilitates trading with financial markets around the globe. From Asia to America, the sun never sets on the City's dealings, fostering a truly international financial hub.

Secondly, the UK boasts a robust regulatory environment, which has been quick to adapt to the rapid pace of technological change. The above-mentioned Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), along with other UK financial regulators, has been proactive in encouraging FinTech growth, facilitating a supportive environment for innovation in finance. This progressive stance has allowed the UK to maintain its position at the forefront of modern advancements such as electronic money.

Moreover, the UK's well-established and interconnected financial infrastructure, including the presence of numerous international banks, hedge funds, and insurance companies, provides a rich ecosystem for the development of financial services. The country's highly skilled workforce, renowned for its proficiency in services of this kind, is another key draw.

The icing on the cake is a strong culture of entrepreneurship that permeates the UK financial sector. Both government and private players promote initiatives to support start-ups and scale-ups in the industry. Finally, this emphasis on innovation and technological adoption has nurtured a FinTech scene that is among the world's most vibrant, solidifying the UK's place as an advanced business hub on a global scale.

Disclaimer: this article is only informative and does not provide the exact and accurate information to get a legal license. Book a consultation with a professional before applying for a license and assess the risks and benefits involved. 

Get the ultimate financial passport and benefit from UK electronic money services

Good businesspeople cannot be away from the economic epicenters of their times. In our century, the digital revolution is riding at the top of the wave, and, to take advantage of this, you need a solid license and a secure legal framework. Obtaining an EMI license is a great option, however, there are not plenty of jurisdictions that offer you a good deal when it comes to profiting from digital money. Get in touch with us and get to know everything you need about UK electronic money services. This country can definitely be a passport that allows you to enter a new financial stage in your life. Drop us a message and we'll be happy to give you all the information you need.

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