Electronic Money Institutions in Malta

Malta has recently seen an increase in the number of Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) looking to set up their operations in Malta.  This has been largely due to the growth in the e-commerce and the i-gaming industries.  Such EMIs are regulated by the Financial Institutions Act and the EU Electronic Money Institutions Directive (‘the Directive’). Malta has transposed this directive into national legislation in 2011.

The 3rd schedule to the Financial Institutions Act defines an EMI as a financial institution that has been licensed by the MFSA and which is authorized to issue electronic money or that holds an equivalent authorization in another country in terms of the Directive to issue electronic money.

The Directive allows EMIs to perform other activities in addition to issuing electronic money.  These include:

-          The provision of certain payment services

-          The granting of credit related to certain payment services

-          The provision of operational services and closely related ancillary services

-          The operation of payment systems

-          Business activities other than the issuance of electronic money.

Main regulatory requirements of an EMI are:

-          A minimum share capital of Eur350,000

-          Own funds calculate in accordance with the Directive

-          At least two Directors who are of good repute and have sufficient knowledge and experience

-          Adequate local presence in Malta.

Why Malta? Some of the main advantages that Malta has to offer include:

-          Advantageous tax treatment

-          Access to a wide tax treaty network

-          Malta is an EU member state with access to the various EU Directives

-          Passporting rights

-          A well-educated and English speaking workforce

-          Sound technological infrastructure

-          Specialist professionals such as accountants, auditors, lawyers and tax advisors

-          Attractive tax rates for highly qualified employees working with such institutions

How can we help?

We offer a wide range of consultancy, tax, compliance and accountancy services to assist you throughout in each step of the application process. Our multi-disciplinary team of professionals will not only assist you during pre-licensing process but will be able to provide you with the on-going support you may need with respect to regulatory compliance, accounting and tax matters.

For further information please contact the firm’s tax and corporate services partner Stephen Balzan (sbalzan@act.com.mt).

Please visit the following link for our article on Electronic Money Institutions http://www.act.com.mt/articles-publications/Electronic-Money-Institutions-Malta.php

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