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e-Money Licences in Ireland – if you need one apply now

e-Money Licences

There have been only two e-Money licences issued in Ireland to date. One was issued to Facebook and the other was issued to PerfectCard DAC, a pre-paid debit card company. This number could greatly increase as a result of Britain's exit from Europe.

How does the e-Money Licence benefit the likes of Facebook?

Given that Ireland is a member of the European Union, EU passporting rights mean that the Irish licence would then allow guarantee access to the other 27 EU member states. This means that Facebook Messenger will be able to operate its peer-to-peer payment features in Europe, as it does already in the United States. 

What is an Electronic Money Institution?

Electronic money is something that most banking customers and online purchasers will be familiar with. Note, we are not talking about Cryptocurrencies, but electronic money. Electronic money (e-Money) can be defined as a digital form of cash since it has many of the characteristics of cash.

e-Money definition:(Source Central Bank of Ireland)

So, what is e-money? Customers buy the electronic equivalent of coins and notes. The customer, in effect, has exchanged cash for another means of payment. Instead of using a debit card (which requires a bank account) or a credit card (which requires a contract agreement) the customer has purchased a non-cash means of payment, which can be used in much the same way as cash or other forms of card payment but without the requirement of third-party authorisation. e-Money can therefore be defined as monetary value as represented by a claim on the issuer, which is:

  • electronically stored
  • issued on receipt of funds for the purposes of making payment transactions
  • accepted as means of payment by a natural or legal person other than the issuer
How Brexit may affect applications

With the realities of Brexit fast approaching, the Central Bank of Ireland could be busy with applications from companies who have attained their licence in the UK, but will now need to acquire a new licence from a member state such as Ireland. The recent application last year (2017) by Barclaycard International Payments to become a registered payments firm in Ireland could mark the beginning of an increase of new businesses registering in Ireland.

According to an article from the Financial Times, Facebook began their application for the licence two years prior to attaining it, so be aware that the process can take time. If you think that your company could benefit from an e-Money Licence, it might be wise to start your application soon.

If you are interested in applying you can contact us directly using the form below:  

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