Registration of a Payment Operator in Astana IFC Kazakhstan
Expanding business operations into Kazakhstan holds substantial promise. Presently, the option to register as a payment operator within the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) in the nation's capital presents itself. For foreign entities, securing licenses for payment systems through AIFC empowers transactions both within and beyond the country's borders. The payment operator license in the Astana IFC (Kazakhstan) serves as a requirement for international corporations engaged in electronic payment services, among other activities.

This material aims to outline the central legal prerequisites for obtaining a payment system license within AIFC Kazakhstan.

Payment services in AIFC Kazakhstan: legal framework and regulation

The predominant regulatory authority entrusted with overseeing the operations of payment institutions in the Astana IFC is the Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA). All interactions related to issuance, validation, renewal, or revocation of payment licenses are conducted through AFSA. The regulator's powers encompass:

  • Vigilant oversight of adherence to pertinent legislation.
  • Controlling the financial stability of applicant firms.
  • Evaluation of competence and alignment with regulatory requisites of applicants.
  • Authorization of payment operator licenses for financial institutions.

To fortify the stability of financial markets in AIFC and to establish an effective regulatory infrastructure while facilitating information exchange, AFSA collaborates with local and international regulatory authorities, especially regarding cross-border financial transactions.

In its operational framework, the regulator relies upon the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan "On Payments and Payment Systems," which delineates fundamental operational principles of payment systems and outlines regulations governing local transactions. This law demarcates the national legal context in which payment service providers must function, specifying the tools at their disposal and the manner in which they should sustain the operation of payment systems.

Legislation in the Republic of Kazakhstan Pertaining to Payment Systems:

  • Safeguards the dependability and efficiency of payment systems.
  • Upholds the rights and interests of users of payment systems.
  • Combats illicit activities within the domain of financial transactions.
  • Nurtures competition within the realm of payment systems.

In conjunction with national legislation, entities holding payment service operator licenses in AIFC Kazakhstan are obligated to adhere to international standards addressing the combatting of money laundering and the financing of unlawful entities. This compliance mechanism is devised to ensure the credibility and transparency of payment systems in the Astana IFC.

Obvious benefits of registering a payment system in AIFC Kazakhstan

The Astana Financial Center, located in the heart of the Republic of Kazakhstan's capital, stands as a specialized zone designed to foster the growth of the financial sector and attract foreign investments. This region, benefiting from an exceedingly favorable legal framework, serves as a gateway for international corporations seeking access to the expansive Eurasian markets. Astana IFC occupies a pivotal role within the government's overarching strategy to propel economic development and stimulate financial undertakings within the capital's domain.

The Privileges Conferred by a Payment Operator License in the Astana International Financial Center Include:

  • Authorization to engage in payment system operations.
  • Authority to undertake operational, informational, and other technological functions related to fund transfers.
  • Permission to collaborate with other financial entities both within and beyond the AIFC, facilitating service provision on both national and international scales.

Prerequisites for Acquiring a Payment Service Operator License in AIFC Kazakhstan Entail:

  • Adherence to financial stability requirements, as stipulated by the regulatory body.
  • Possession of requisite professional experience in furnishing payment system services.
  • Compliance with the security standards governing payment systems.

Services to Extend by an Organization Holding a Payment System License in Astana IFC:

An obtained payment operator license within AIFC Kazakhstan empowers its bearer to carry out the subsequent activities and provide corresponding services:

  • Execution of electronic payments.
  • Issuance and management of payment instruments, encompassing cards or electronic wallets.
  • Facilitation of payment processing for other financial institutions, banks, or e-commerce platforms. This includes tasks such as payment authorization, balance verification, fraud management, refund processing, and more.
  • Provision of cross-border and/or cross-currency money transfer services through banking systems, payment services, or alternative methodologies.
  • Oversight of account and balance management, entailing functions such as monitoring balances, tracking transaction histories, delivering payment notifications, and granting access to financial data.

Advantages of registering a payment operator in AIFC Kazakhstan

  • Access to lucrative markets of central Asia and China, backed by a robust and well-developed infrastructure.
  • Favorable investment environment with enticing incentives, including tax exemptions (income tax, land tax, and various other levies for a predetermined period).
  • Streamlined registration procedures that not only expedite the process of establishment in AIFC Kazakhstan but also curtail the paperwork and licensing costs.
  • Adaptable legal framework includes AIFC's arbitration practices founded upon international standards, thereby safeguarding the rights of investors.
  • Seamless currency convertibility.

How to attain a payment system operator license in AIFC Kazakhstan?

To secure registration for a payment system in Astana IFC, Kazakhstan, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare Necessary Documentation adhering to regulatory specifications:
    1. Duly completed application for payment operator registration, containing all pertinent information.
    2. Charter of the payment organization.
    3. Full legal name and address of the payment institution.
    4. Business plan detailing operational strategies.
    5. Payment organization details, including bank account particulars.
    6. Documents validating the eligibility of individuals representing the payment institution (e.g., passport details, appointments).
    7. Documents verifying the financial stability of the payment institution (e.g., financial statements, bank records).
    8. Information detailing the offered services, encompassing transaction types and associated tariffs.
    9. Comprehensive description of security systems, incorporating transaction security metrics, user authentication methodologies, fraud detection and prevention systems, and other pertinent security measures.
  2. Submit Application to AFSA for a payment system license, featuring the signature of an authorized representative of the company.
  3. Fulfill the payment of fees linked to obtaining a payment system license.

Upon reviewing your documents, organizational structure, and management system, and upon approval of your application, AFSA will issue a registration certificate from AIFC, affirming the payment system's registration within Astana MFC.

Opting for comprehensive professional support in obtaining payment system license in Astana ensures adherence to all legal requisites and garners the regulator's endorsement.


The Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) in Kazakhstan is increasingly attracting investors. This is facilitated by Kazakhstan's stable political landscape, coupled with the country's steady economic progress. The government has created a business-friendly environment characterized by stability and transparency, effectively removing bureaucratic barriers to registering foreign enterprises. If you are looking to expand your operations in this region and benefit from the attractive markets of Asia, choosing the Astana MFC in Kazakhstan for your business relocation is a justified decision.

For advice on the regulation of payment systems in Kazakhstan, please contact YB Case experts. We will provide detailed advice and provide reliable legal support at every stage of the licensing process.

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