Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license

Digital finances have been growing rapidly in recent years. Entering this niche means getting a tasty piece of the multi-million dollar pie. Issuing your own money sounds tempting, but like other financial services, this kind of economic activity is tightly regulated in many countries, so you must study many nuances to implement a project in the legal field.
E-money does not need to be printed, protected, or transported. In the event of the bankruptcy of a financial organization, it cannot simply evaporate. The specifics of electronic funds are that they are not divided into banknotes; when performing transactions, you do not need to pick up the change. They do not require reliable storage, so they are more secure in a virtual wallet. The transfer takes only a few minutes, and paying is much more convenient.
Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license — 1

What is Electronic Money Institution license?

Unlike ordinary banknotes, that only the state has the right to issue, electronic finances in many countries are equated with securities, so private companies can issue them. EMI license allows its owner to issue digital currencies and provide payment services. In addition, you can create and maintain your own payment system and provide a full range of services related to the issuance of electronic cash.
This market has existed somewhat recently. The first right was acquired in Luxembourg in 2010. In all, almost 400 licenses were received. The most active countries in certifying digital money issuers are the UK, Lithuania, Singapore, Malta, France, Cyprus, and Ireland. For example, in UK activities of e-money issuers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Starting in 2017, banks around the world are required to submit information about customer accounts to the tax authorities of their countries. This is necessary to counteract money laundering. But this rule applies to lending banks. The e-money license allows you to keep confidential information about your customers using a number of tools on completely legal grounds. The regulator has not yet regulated the cash flow control procedure for such financial institutions, that makes it possible to move large cash flows.
Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license — 3

Why should you choose fintecharbor.com to get emi license?

Fintech Harbor understands all the intricacies of the EMI requirements in various jurisdictions and dealing with government agencies. We exclusively specialize in technically complicated areas such as fintech and blockchain, assisting startups and international corporations.
The fintech team includes skilled counselors with financial and legal backgrounds, as well as digital advisors. We have the proficiency and experience to successfully acquire an EMI license in the shortest possible time in compliance with all necessary procedures and provisions of the controller.

EMI license obtaining process

To acquire permission, the interested person must first incorporate a legal entity in that country. There are two options depending on the turnover: small EMI (turnover up to 3 million euros) and standard one (turnover more than 3 million euros).
Both a citizen and a non-resident of the land can obtain an EMI banking license. But it is important to observe several fundamental conditions:
The top management of the company must have the relevant education and experience to understand the specifics, the associated risks, and realize how to quickly resolve them. Lack of knowledge and background may be grounds for rejection.
You need to have a real presence in the country of registration – an office, employees, resident directors. Board meetings should also be held domestically. In fact, you must provide all the evidence that this is a real enterprise that will not evaporate.
Important attention is paid to compliance policy issues. An observation manager who resides in the homeland should be appointed, and internal practices to counter fraud and protect the welfare of customers should be developed.
The organization must have bank accounts in order to conduct commercial activities. These must be savings accounts in the name of the company in any bank with good standing.
Together with the package of papers, it is essential to deliver a business plan and a firm’s strategy for the next 3 years, which describes the services provided and an action plan in case of force majeure.
The organization must maintain strict accounting records, submit mandatory annual reports to the tax administrations and undergo an independent audit.


We contacted Fintech Harbor to receive the privilege to issue electronic finances. We are still gathering papers, but we already like their approach and attention to detail. Hope everything will turn out. They are very competent lawyers.
We are in the process of obtaining a license. I really liked that at first we were consulted in detail on all issues. When the regulator requested additional documents, the advisers promptly prepared everything and immediately sent it for consideration. I really like this proactive approach.


The state fee for a classic EMI electronic money permit depends on the country of registration and the type of license. The calculation of the expense of acquiring a permit includes legal assistance for the incorporation of the local ltd company, the authorized capital of the firm, the governmental fee, an office and a resident director. It is also possible to buy a ready-made company with an electronic money license. Call us for a detailed consultation and an individual offer.
The terms for receiving a permit can vary from 3 to 12 months in various jurisdictions. If all the documents are in order, and the regulator has no additional questions, then after 3 months you can get the desired license. This usually takes more time. The licensing authority may request additional documents and the process may take up to one year.

An applicant for a license must submit an impressive list of papers. Please note that all documents must be translated to the local language and notarized.

  • The index contains the charter of the company and a plan for 3 years. The financial strategy must demonstrate that the institution is ready to fully function as an issuer of money.
  • It is essential to provide written documents that describe actions to protect the rights of electronic finance owners and confirm the minimum amount of equity.
  • Governance and inner control tools and risk management;
    Structure of the organization, branches, representative offices, agents – all private individuals or legal entities through which the establishment plans to allocate or redeem funds.
  • Details on persons who have a share in the capital of the establishment, managers, and the composition of the board. All key individuals must be qualified financial managers with relevant experience and professional education, as well as a good reputation without criminal records.
  • Office address, website, and contact details for communication.
  • Information about an independent auditing firm that will conduct the annual audit.
It is crucial to learn the difference before applying for a license. EMI companies may provide a full range of settlement services, same as APIs, but in addition they can also issue electronic money. E-money is very similar to a digital currency that circulates within the establishment, which issued it. Do not confound the concept of electronic money with cryptocurrencies. Digital currencies like Bitcoin do not equate to fiat money. They are not considered full-fledged money in any country in the world, although many states are making attempts to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges and exchangers. Electronic money operates within the structure of an EMI organization. In practice, it works like this: the client first opens an account similar to a payment one. An EMI organization buys real currency from a client (for example, euro, dollar, or British pound) and exchanges it for electronic currency, with which it replenishes the account balance. Further, the organization performs operations with these electronic means on behalf of the client. For example, a transfer between customer accounts, payment to a counterparty, and so on. Transfers between clients of the same electronic money issuer can be made in the electronic money of that EMI. Unlike electronic money issuers, classical payment institutions operate with real fiat currencies and can perform all services (exchange, debit, credit), except for issuing their own electronic funds. EMIs are regarded by banks as more loyal partners, as they have significant capital and a complicated procedure for acquiring a license. Because of this, periodically banks see benefits in working with electronic money companies compared to payment institutions.