Obtain a Payment Institution and Emoney license in Spain

Spain became one of the most active fintech ecosystems in Europe with a great number of fintech licenses issued in 2019. According to European Central Bank data, in 2019, Banco de España issued a record number of Payment Institution licenses. 50 companies received PI licenses in Spain, thus taking the first place in the EEA & UK. For Electronic money licenses, Spain takes 4th place in the EEA & UK zone after Great Britain, Lithuania, and Ireland. The Spanish regulator offers favourable conditions for license obtaining and reasonable terms. Being a part of the EEA, it will continue supporting operations in Europe after the end of the post-Brexit transition period.

Registration and authorisation

Spanish regulator provides a transparent procedure of obtaining a license with specific deadlines and clear requirements.

Payment Institutions types

There are 4 main types of Authorised Institutions in Spain:

• an Authorised Payment Institution and a Small Payment Institution. Small PI must evident that average monthly payment transactions in the preceding 12 months will not exceed €3 m.

• an Authorised Emoney Institution and Small Emoney Institution. Small EMI must evident that e-money business will generate a monthly average outstanding electronic money of less than €5m and that in the 12 months preceding the application, the monthly average of payment services transactions did not exceed €3m

Requirements for staff and office

The authorised representative of the company shall reside in Spain. There are no requirements to have a specific number of local or other personnel in Spain – the main office could be located in another country.

Fee FREE authorisation

There is NO Fee for PIs and EMIs authorization in Spain, unlike in other countries.

Simple Submission Form

Authorisation Procedure Form is easy to fill in. It includes all EBA recommendations and local requirements in a structured way. The application can be submitted through the Electronic Registry of the Bank of Spain, face-to-face or by post.

Language

The main communication languages with regulatory bodies are English or Spanish. Most of the documents of the application can be submitted in English although relevant documents such as the agreement to be entered with the users of payment services, bylaws of the future PI in Spain or the AML manual should be drafted in Spanish.

Application review time

The application review time for Payment/Emoney entities is within 3 months and for Small Payment/Emoney institutions within 20 days of receipt of the application if all documents are submitted. Usually, the process of receiving the license takes 6 months.

Safeguarding accounts

EMI and PI can open a safeguarding account for client money in Spanish banks or a credit institution domiciled in any of the Member States of the European Union.

Corporate taxes

Spain offers moderate corporate tax burden, favourable tax treatment for expatriates, incentives and Tax Relief for Research & Development.

Documents

Documents include information about the company and its management, an overview of services, a business plan, different policies and procedures, insurance, and other documents to prove the fitness to the requirements of the Spanish regulator. To receive more information on how to obtain your financial services license in Spain, another country of the EEA, or in the UK, please contact Advapay.

Regulatory bodies

The following are the key regulatory authorities that are responsible for the financial services sector.

Bank of Spain

The Bank of Spain is the central national bank. Together with the European Central Bank, it is the supervisory authority of the Spanish banking system.

CNMV

The Spanish Securities Market Commission (Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores) (CNMV) is the supervisory authority in charge of the supervision and inspection of the securities markets in Spain and of the activity of all those who intervene in said market.

SEPBLAC

The Executive Service of the Commission for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Monetary Infringements (Servicio Ejecutivo de la Comisión de Prevención de Blanqueo de Capitales e Infracciones Monetarias) (SEPBLAC) is in charge of supporting the Commission for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Monetary Infringements, which is attached to the Bank of Spain. 

About: Advapay provides Core Banking platform, consulting and licensing for fintechs and digital banks.