The licensing Procedure and the operation of E-Money (EMI) and Payment (PI) institutions are currently regulated by the EU Directive 2009/110/EC and harmonized in Cyprus by the Electronic Money Law of 2012 AND 2018 which transposed into national law as per the directives of the European Parliament and of the Council. The Regulatory body for the licensing and supervision of EMI’s in Cyprus is the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC).
A legal person applying for an EMI license shall maintain at the time of authorization an initial capital of at least EUR350.000
Capital requirements for the issue of electronic money shall be equal to 2% of the average value of electronic money in circulation.
Capital requirements for the provision of payment services not connected with the issue of electronic money are defined by the Central Bank in one of the following three methods:
- The electronic money institutions own funds shall amount to at least 10 % of its fixed overheads of the preceding year.
- This amount may be adjusted in the event of a material change in an electronic money institution’s business since the preceding year.
- Where an electronic money institution has not completed a full year’s business by the date of the calculation, the requirement shall be that its own funds amount to at least 10 % of the corresponding fixed overheads as projected in its business plan, subject to any adjustments at the request of the Central Bank.
Where payment volume (PV) represents one twelfth (1/12) of the total amount of payment transactions executed by the electronic money institution in the preceding year:
- 4,0 % of the slice of PV up to EUR 5 million, plus
- 2,5 % of the slice of PV above EUR 5 million up to EUR 10 million, plus
- 1 % of the slice of PV above EUR 10 million up to EUR 100 million, plus
- 0,5 % of the slice of PV above EUR 100 million up to EUR 250 million, plus
- 0,25 % of the slice of PV above EUR 250 million
- The electronic money institution’s own funds shall amount to at least the sum of the above elements multiplied by the scaling factor k which is defined as 0,5 , 0,8 or 1 according to the payment services provided.
The electronic money institution’s own funds shall amount to at least the relevant indicator (refer to point a below), multiplied by the multiplication factor (refer to point b below) and by the scaling factor k which is defined as 0,5 , 0,8 or 1 according to the payment services provided.
a. The relevant indicator is the sum of the following:
- interest income less interest expenses,
- commissions and fees received, and
- other operating income.
b. The multiplication factor shall be:
- 10 % of the slice of the relevant indicator up to EUR 2,5 million;
- 8 % of the slice of the relevant indicator from EUR 2,5 million up to EUR 5 million;
- 6 % of the slice of the relevant indicator from EUR 5 million up to EUR 25 million;
- 3 % of the slice of the relevant indicator from EUR 25 million up to 50 million;
- 1,5 % above EUR 50 million.
The CBC shall grant authorisation to an electronic money institution only if it is a legal person incorporated in the Republic where it is required to have its registered and head office and must carry out at least part of its electronic money service business and/or provision of payment services that are not related with the issuing of electronic money.
In order to obtain authorisation as an electronic money institution, an application should be submitted to the CBC together with all the information referred to in subsections (3) to (8) of section 5 of The Payment Services and Access to Payment Systems Laws of 2018 and 2019. These subsections are applied proportionately on electronic money institutions according to the provisions set out in section 4A of the Law.
The European Banking Authority has issued guidelines (EBA/GL/2017/09) which are fully adopted by the CBC, regarding the content of the information which must be disclosed to the competent authorities when submitting an application to obtain authorisation as an electronic money institution.
The relevant application forms are the following:
- Application for authorisation as an electronic money institution – (EMI)
- Application by a legal person wishing to hold a qualifying holding – (QHL)
- Application by a natural person wishing to hold a qualifying holding – (QHN)
- Application by a natural person wishing to be appointed as a member of the management body or key function holder (MMB/KFH)