E-Money license Lithuania

EMI License Lithuania

Financial institutions planning to provide services related to the issuance and turnover of electronic money in the European Union must have an EMI license. This is a requirement of the EU directive 2015/2366. An EMI (Electronic Money Institution) license is a legal document issued by a designated regulatory authority.

One of the most attractive countries for FinTech entrepreneurship is the Republic of Lithuania, which has been among the top five countries in terms of the number of issued permits for several years in a row. Firms here can obtain two types of licenses related to electronic money, including EMI. The regulation of e-money licensing is the responsibility of the state-owned Bank of Lithuania.

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What does the e money license Lithuania provide?

The Lithuanian open license allows operating in the financial market of the entire eurozone, which includes 30 countries.

Electronic Money Institution is an extended license that gives the right to:

  • Issue e-money.
  • Issue payment instruments.
  • Connect existing payment cards to customer sub-accounts, as well as issue new plastic cards connected to a customer's account (the main vendors are Visa/MasterCard).
  • Issue IBAN accounts to clients.
  • Make various bank payments all over the world in the desired currency.
  • Direct debits based on payment orders.
  • Perform payment transactions, including various types of transfers, via payment cards and other devices.
  • Provide acquiring services for payment transactions, as well as perform other financial transactions not prohibited by law.

EMI license is issued for an indefinite period. Its annual renewal requires payment of a fee.

After Lithuania left the European Union, it managed to become one of the most favorable jurisdictions due to:

  • Competent tax policies (some of the lowest tax rates and fees)
  • Loyalty to licensees: simple registration procedure, possibility to obtain a visa, etc.

How to get an electronic money institution license Lithuania?

This process can be divided into three stages:

  1. Preparatory. The licensee must:
  • Prepare a business plan.
  • Set up a company in Lithuania (the head office must be located in the territory of the Republic).
  • Hire personnel.
  • Open a bank account and make payment of the authorized capital (for a full EMI license — from 350,000 euros, for a limited small EMI license, the minimum capital amount is not established).
  1. Registration (authorization). EMI license Lithuania is issued based on a package of legal and financial documents, which specify:
  • Management structure
  • AML and KYC procedures
  • Operational risk management system
  • IT procedures

The licensee must submit constituent documents, information on all shareholders and investors, and internal regulations, as well as make an application for EMI and pay the state fees (about 1.5 thousand euros).

  1. Setting up and launching the project. In the case of a positive decision of the National Bank, the procedures for launching the financial project are carried out.

The regulator has three months from the date of filing the documents for a decision on licensing. In the case of errors or inaccuracies, the review period is extended: the Bank of Lithuania may request additional papers or ask for corrections, after which a new countdown of the three months for review begins. As a rule, the entire licensing process, including preparation and collection of documents, as well as finding and hiring staff, takes from 6 to 12 months.

Basic requirements for obtaining an Electronic Money Institution license Lithuania

The applicant cannot have any prohibitions from the EU supervisory authorities. The head of the financial institution may be a person with appropriate qualifications (higher education in management, law, or economics plus 1 year of experience) and an impeccable reputation.

At least one employee, such as CEO and/or AML officer, must be a resident or citizen of the Republic of Lithuania.

There must be at least one natural person among the founders of the company. A suitable candidate is a person over 18 years of age with an impeccable business reputation.

The authorized capital of the company must be kept in the specified amount (for the full Lithuania EMI license — from 350 thousand euros) for the entire period of its activities. When depositing funds, the licensee is required to confirm the source of their origin.

Management and control processes, as well as financial transactions, must be carried out in the head office located in Lithuania.

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