UK EMI license - YB Case 2024

UK EMI license

UK EMI license

The facilitation of financial services through electronic payments in Europe is ensured by obtaining an EMI license. This type of license authorizes the execution of payment transactions and the issuance and circulation of digital currency. This article will examine the specifics of EMI licensing regulations in England, the procedure for acquiring this license, and the benefits and capabilities of an E-money license in the United Kingdom.

Characteristics of e-money regulation and licensing in the UK jurisdiction

Electronic payments, as a contemporary payment instrument, have become a prevalent form of global financial transactions due to the rapid advancement of FinTech. The growing popularity of e-money can be attributed to the accelerated development of the digital market, the diminishing relevance of offline payments, enhancements in online business models and strategies, and a diverse array of online financial products.

The financial licensing of EMIs in the United Kingdom is subject to rigorous oversight by governmental bodies. The regulation and state supervision of financial organizations within this jurisdiction are based on pan-European regulations and local legislation.

The FCA serves as the central regulatory authority overseeing the circulation of electronic funds and e-money transactions. As the primary supervisory body of the financial market, the FCA grants licensing approvals and monitors the electronic payments sector.

Pros of obtaining an EMI license in England

  • Securing an EMI license in England grants access to:
  • Individual and corporate IBAN accounts
  • Online financial transactions
  • Transactions in electronic currencies
  • Payment card services
  • SEPA payment transactions
An EMI license enables:
  • International transfers
  • Transactions in major global currencies (GBP, EUR, USD, etc.)
  • Remote account opening for individuals and businesses
  • Issuance of MasterCard payment cards
  • International payments and SWIFT system transactions
  • Use of international correspondent accounts
  • Implementation of AML mechanisms

Fundamental requirements and process for obtaining an EMI license in England

There are two categories of EMI licenses available to financial entities: SEMI and AEMI.





Up to €5 million annually, €3 million monthly


Limited to EEA

Min. authorized capital


Application processing

4 months


Min. initial authorized capital

> £350K

Application processing

6 months

To acquire an EMI license in England, it is imperative:

  1. Establish a legal entity in the UK (new entity or branch/subsidiary of an existing one)
  2. Submit an application in the prescribed FCA format
  3. Provide supporting documents, including:
    • Business plan
    • List of financial transactions
    • Founders and senior management documentation
    • Proof of sufficient authorized capital
    • Approved accounting and audit system
    • Approved IT support system
    • Agreements with business partners
    • AML and internal control documents

Applying for an EMI license necessitates adherence to specific local regulatory requirements. Key prerequisites include:

  • Opening a financial account in a UK banking institution for personal and/or corporate purposes
  • Ensuring the required amount of authorized share capital in the current account
  • Having a registered office (owned or leased) or a long-term lease agreement for real estate

UK legislation and FCA regulations impose stringent compliance standards on the top management of electronic transaction companies. General managers must possess adequate experience, knowledge, and competencies, with specific requirements varying by license type.

Assistance with obtaining an EMI license in England

The UK jurisdiction offers significant opportunities in the realm of licensing and the provision of payment services. The FCA, as a preeminent international regulator, ensures the safety and reliability of payment service providers. To obtain an e-money license or address any inquiries regarding the EMI licensing process in the UK, you can reach out to our company’s specialists. They will provide expert legal guidance and support throughout the EMI licensing procedure.

Our fintech lawyers will offer comprehensive information support, advise on regulatory requirements, and assist in preparing all necessary documentation to secure EMI payment licenses in the UK.

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