Cyprus

Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) & Payment Institutions (PI) Licenses.

overview

Cyprus

The Regulatory Body for the licensing and supervision of Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) & Payment Institutions (PI) Licenses in Cyprus is the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC).

The licensing procedure and the operation of EMI and PI are regulated by the European Union (EU) EMI Directive (Directive 2009/110/EC), and adopted by Cyprus as the Electronic Money Law of 2012 & 2018.

It offers favourable tax treatment as Cyprus has one of the lowest corporate taxation regimes in the EU, and has particularly favorable tax provisions

No capital gains tax on profits from the sale of financial instruments.

Cyprus is one of the most efficient jurisdictions in Europe, in terms of administration, regulation and auditing.

With one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the EU region, Cyprus stands out as a favourite offshore activities destination for all kinds of businesses.

  • Time Frame: 4-6 Months
  • Taxation: 12.5% (Corporate Income Tax).
  • License:
    • Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) 
    • Payment Institutions (PI) Licenses
For each Director, Shareholder and Ultimate Beneficial Owner:
  • Notarized / Certified True Copy of Passport
  • Notarized / Certified True Copy of Proof of Address
  • Notarized / Certified True Copy of Bank Statement
  • Bank Reference Letter
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) dated and signed by applicant

For each Corporate Shareholders of the company:
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Memorandum of Association
  • Articles of associations
  • Register of Directors
  • Register of Shareholdings
  • Certificate of Good Standing (if the company is over a year old)

Other Required Documents:
  • Proof of Source of Wealth
  • Detailed Business Plan
 

Company Structure:

  • Minimum 1 Shareholder
  • Minimum 2 Executive Directors and 2 Non-Executive Directors


Taxation:

  • Standard Corporate Tax at 12.5%
  • Corporate Gain Tax at 0%
  • Lowest Value-Added Tax at 19%
  • No Withholding Tax on Dividends
  • An extensive network of Double Taxation Treaties

 

Accounting requirements:

  • Audit should be done in Cyprus
  • Audited Financial Statements and Tax Return must be submitted within 3 months from its balance sheet date
  • Accounting records should be kept at the local office


Others:

  • Registered Agent – Required
  • Registered Office – Required
  • Company Secretary – Required
  • Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance Cover – Required
  • Local Employees in Cyprus – Required
  • USD (not usable)
Legal Framework: Electronic Money Law 2012 & Payment Services Law 2009

Regulatory Authority: Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC)

Time Frame: Approximately 4 – 6 Months

Minimum Capital Requirement:

Electronic-Money Institutions (EMI) License (Issuance of E-Money & Services 1 – 7)

EUR 350,000

Payment Institutions (PI) License (Services 1 – 5)

EUR 125,000

Payment Institutions (PI) License (Service 6)

EUR 20,000

Payment Institutions (PI) License (Service 7)

EUR 50,000


Electronic Money Institutions (EMI)
  • E-Money Institution under EMI Directive (Directive 2009/110/EC) is a business very similar to Payment Institution, in addition to the issuance of Electronic Money (the digital equivalent of cash stored on an electronic device).

  • EMI is authorized to do everything the Payment Institution can do, and is also allowed to provide International Bank Account Number (IBAN) Accounts, Payment Cards and E-Wallets.

  • Most importantly, an EMI Licensee is authorized to issue Electronic Money, a monetary value represented by a claim on the issuer, which is:
    • Electronically-including magnetically-stored (such as chargeable internet based account, magnetic card).
    • Issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of making payment transactions (conversion of bank money into e-money).
    • Accepted by a natural or legal person other than the e-money issuer.

Payment Institution (PI) License
  • Under EU Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2, or Directive 2015/2336/EU), a PI is allowed to offer payment transactions execution services, such as credit transfers and direct debits, issuing or acquiring payment instruments, money remittances, foreign exchange services, and similar services.

  • Payment Institution License is suitable for credit card processors, payment account operators, remittance businesses, foreign exchange businesses, payment initiation companies, and etc.

Activities Allowed Under EMI & PI Licenses
  1. Depositing cash in a payment account, and activities that are required to maintain a payment account.

  2. Cash withdrawals from a payment account, and all the activities needed to maintain a payment account.

  3. Execution of payment operations, including capital transfers, from customer’s account to the PSP
    • Direct charges, including one-time direct charges.
    • Payment with a payment card or similar device.
    • Credit transfers, including fixed orders.

  4. Execution of payment operations, where the money is covered by a credit opening for the user of payment services:

  5. Issuance of means of payment and / or acceptance of payment transactions.
    • Direct charges, including one-time direct charges.
    • Payment with a payment card or similar device.
    • Credit transfers, including fixed orders.

  6. Remittance services.

  7. Payment start-up services.
  1. Compile and prepare all the application forms and documents in the prescribed form.

  2. We will assist you in drafting the Detailed Business Plan.

  3. The applicant must incorporate a company in Cyprus.

  4. Preparation and submission of the application to the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC), with all necessary supporting documents.

  5. Open a bank account for deposit of initial capital and operational purposes.

  6. We will liaise with CBC on follow-up actions, and submit additional documents that are requested.

  7. Approval and commencement of operations.
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