How to become a payment institution in Spain
Now that we have established a good basis regarding the services they can provide, let’s see how you can register as a payment entity in three steps.
#1. Identify the type of license required
There are registration or licensing regulations depending on the services provided and the amount of capital to be handled.
Authorization of payment entities In general, this authorization must be requested in order to create a payment institution. However, there are some exceptions: monthly transactions must be below €3,000,000 per month, only information services may be offered, and the services must be provided through a limited network or by telecommunications operators.
Registration of entities with low turnover. This simplified regime can be requested if the total value of the payment transactions to be executed will not exceed €3,000,000 per month.
Registration of account information service providers. This is the registry indicated for entities whose services are to be limited to account information services.
Registration of exclusion by limited network or telecommunications operators. This registration may be requested if the payment services are provided through instruments that can only be used on a limited basis or if they are communication network providers that offer payment services to their subscribers.
Authorization of electronic money institutions. If you will provide electronic money services as explained in the previous section, you need to apply for this special authorization in order to obtain the necessary license.
Once you have decided on the type of license, it is time to move on to the requirements.
#2. Comply with the requirements for obtaining the license.
Although each type of authorization or registration has its own requirements, there are two main things that every entity must comply with:
- A solvency guarantee based on a certain amount of own funds
- Protecting data and safeguarding funds received from users
In turn, the Bank of Spain will always ask for a detailed business plan, documentation supporting your solvency and criminal record.
#3. Initiate the authorization or registration process with the regulator.
Before applying, the business model must be well defined, the applicable regulations must be known and the documents that must be submitted must be known. The Bank recommends filling out a “pre-application for registration authorization” form where you can make an appointment to explain your project and ask any questions you may have.
Although the application for registration may be submitted by mail or in person, it is advisable to submit it electronically through the “Processing” section available at the Electronic Registry of the Bank of Spain.
These are the steps to be followed:
Access the Electronic Register. You can use any of the authentication systems supported by the Bank of Spain, such as the digital certificate or the Cl@ve Pin.
- Once inside, select “Fill in the form” and choose the option according to the actuator.
- Fill in the requested data and attach the necessary documentation.
- When ready, press the “Submit” button.
- If everything is processed correctly, you will see a screen informing you of the status of your application and giving you access to consult the “Acknowledgement of Receipt”. It is recommended that you save or print this page to serve as proof of the transaction.
If you need to consult your application, you can do so from the “Consult my documents submitted by Electronic Registry” section.
Once the application has been sent, the Bank of Spain undertakes to reply within three months. However, it is important to be aware of any communication you may receive in case you need to correct the application or add any documents or supporting documents.