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How to get a payment license in Latin America

How to get a payment license in Latin America

Not so long ago, Latin American countries were not generally considered as attractive jurisdictions for establishing international business, and even more so for conducting licensed activities, but much has changed.

Recently, the developing states of the Caribbean have been increasingly mentioned in the world media, and this is not unreasonable, because this region really shows a huge economic potential, and governments of countries “keep up with the times” in relation to modern technologies and trends in the world.

A number of Latin American jurisdictions have a favorable investment and business climate: loyal requirements of local regulators, open banks for cooperation, simple and understandable conditions for registering and doing business.

Today we will discuss current solutions for the payment business, and find out in which of the jurisdictions in the region it is most profitable to obtain a payment license.

Is Belize the perfect solution?

Belize — is a favorable jurisdiction for getting a payment license, the main advantages of which are the quick terms for obtaining a license and the loyal requirements of the local regulator. That is why a number of business projects planning to engage in payment activities are turning their attention to Belize.

The local regulator is the Belize International Financial Services Commission (FSC), which issues the following types of financial licenses:

  • Money transfer services (Authorized capital $75 000);
  • International license for the protection and management of assets (Authorized capital $25 000);
  • Payment processing services (Share capital $50 000);
  • Currency exchange (Authorized capital $25 000).

Among the mandatory requirements for obtaining a license, it is important to note the following:

  • availability of a virtual office;
  • the company has property that can actually cover potential losses in the amount of up to $100 000;
  • hiring at least two directors, of which one must be local;
  • specialized education of directors.

Belize — is a jurisdiction with a solid approach to the regulation of the financial sector. It has a wide range of licensing options combined with a common law system and transparent operating rules. This jurisdiction should definitely be on the list of those who are looking for a simple and effective solution to start a payment business. Also, the Belize jurisdiction is a great choice for family offices that want to set up their own licensed legal entities.

The annual license fee is between $2 500 or $5 000, depending on the license type

On average, btaining a payment license in Belize takes from 30 to 90 days from the date of submission of the necessary documents to the Belize Financial Services Regulatory Commission.

An important part of successful  project launching in Belize is determining the exact type of license required. Both the requirements of the regulator and the cost of the license itself depend on the type of license.

Navigating the regulatory environment of the financial services industry in Belize requires an in-depth knowledge of the processes. SBSB Fintech Lawyers is always ready to help you with this task.

Payment license in Panama

As it is known, many global jurisdictions offer the possibility of obtaining a payment license, but, as a rule, licensing is a rather complicated and time-consuming process.

If we talk about Panama, here the process looks a little different. The provision of electronic payment services in Panama, although recognized as licensed, is not an unregulated activity.

The Payment Institution (PI) license in this jurisdiction is issued by a specially authorized executive body — the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Panama (MICI).

This license allows the licensee to carry out the following types of activities:

  • Acceptance of funds from clients;
  • Money transfers;
  • Mediation in the implementation of payments.

It is impossible to ignore the main and key feature of the jurisdiction of Panama — the absence of capital requirements for companies intending to provide electronic payment services from Panama.

At the same time, it is still recommended to contribute capital comparable in size to European standards, that is, approximately €100 000–200 000.

The fee for issuing a license is $1 750, after which the relevant information is transferred to the State Register of Financial Enterprises. Additional annual administrative fee (for state audit and maintenance of data in the register) — $750/1 000.

It should also be noted that it is not necessary to have a physical office in Panama in order to obtain a Panama PI license. You can limit yourself to having a virtual office. However, it is recommended to have a working local office with employees, although there is no such requirement in the law.

In practice, it turns out that a local small company has a better chance of obtaining a PI license than a company with only a virtual office.

Local presence and paid up authorized capital will provide access to most local banks.

In order to obtain a license, it will be necessary to apply to the Panama Ministry of Trade and Industry (MICI). The regulator reviews the application, as a rule, in 2-3 weeks. During the consideration of the application, the regulator has the right to request additional information or documents, which may delay the licensing process, which is why it is difficult to indicate the exact time frame for obtaining a license.

If you are interested to get payment license in Latin America, you can order this service from us, including online on our website. We offer a turnkey license and deal with all the problems associated with obtaining it.

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