Legal regulation of fintech in Turkey - YB Case 2024

Legal regulation of fintech in Turkey

Legal regulation of fintech in Turkey

Analysis of the Turkish fintech sector

Turkey’s burgeoning fintech industry has emerged as an integral economic growth engine. Encompassing diverse financial services and innovative technologies—from payments tools to crowdfunding platforms and blockchain-enabled cryptocurrencies—the nation’s fintech sector has attracted robust investor interest locally and globally.

Led predominantly by payments processing and money transfers, Turkey’s fintech ecosystem enables seamless transactions for consumers and businesses. While pioneering sectors such as peer-to-peer lending and InsurTech await tailored regulations before realizing their full potential, existing standards adequately govern the widespread payments services and customer data aggregation domains.

Despite the lack of defined cryptocurrency legislation, crypto asset activity permeates the Turkish market through crypto ATMs, active trading, and surging consumer interest. While regulators acknowledge that cryptocurrencies warrant a degree of oversight, explicit legal provisions remain forthcoming. Nevertheless, the thriving curiosity around crypto assets underscores fintech’s possibilities in Turkey.

With its varied mix of highly sophisticated fintech solutions serving substantial customer demand, Turkey has developed into a promising global fintech hub. Addressing regulatory gaps as the industry matures could empower Turkey to tap into fintech’s maximum domestic economic impact and capture greater worldwide market share.

Key fintech segments in Turkey

Payments processing
Representing one of Turkey’s most dynamic fintech arenas, payments processing involves developing and providing electronic payments technologies and services. Relevant firms offer various online, mobile, and cross-border payment solutions catering to corporate and retail client needs.
Utilities and services payments
Platforms and applications simplifying payments for utilities, telecoms, subscriptions, and other services are also gaining traction for their convenience and efficiency benefits.
Accounting and personal finance
Solutions helping individuals and enterprises administer finances and accounting, including budgeting apps, automated accounting, and planning tools, have witnessed rising adoption in Turkey.
Cryptocurrency exchanges
Despite minimal formal regulations so far, surging consumer interest is buoying cryptocurrency exchanges providing crypto asset trading and exchange services.
Crowdfunding, P2P finance, and InsurTech
While still nascent due to lacking specialized legislation, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, and insurance technology harbour growth opportunities as alternative financing avenues.

Turkey’s fintech landscape mirrors global trends and domestic market needs. Offering enhanced, convenient financial services access, popular solutions promote financial inclusion and support economic advancement.

Key regulators

Several pivotal authorities shape Turkey’s fintech governance landscape. Their judicious oversight and proactive rulemaking promote financial stability and safety, enabling the industry’s swift growth.

  1. The Central Bank
    1. As the primary monetary body, the Central Bank regulates payments services, including licensing requirements for money transfers and e-money services. It also supervises payment system operators, cash management, and e-payment policy development.
  2. The Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA)
    1. This agency oversees Turkish banking activities, including licensing financial services firms. The agency monitors regulatory compliance and has instituted licensing frameworks and penalties governing peer-to-peer lending.
  3. The Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK)
    1. MASAK tackles money laundering and other financial crimes. It verifies fintechs’ anti-money laundering compliance and inspects transactions for suspicious activity, also devising policies to mitigate fintech financial crime.
  4. The Capital Markets Board
    1. Tasked with supervising Turkish financial markets, this regulator licences crowdfunding platforms while overseeing brokerages and securities trading, including derivatives. It institutes transparency and fairness standards across capital markets.

In concert, these bodies reinforce the integrity of Turkey’s fintech ecosystem through balanced oversight and licensing rules that promote accountable innovation. Their coordinated regulatory approaches will continue bolstering fintech’s remarkable Turkish growth.

Regulation overview in various FinTech sectors in Turkey

Peer-to-Peer Lending

P2P lending stands as a testament to financial innovation, facilitating direct financing between individuals sans traditional financial intermediaries. This thought leader financial service is gaining momentum in Turkey, providing borrowers direct access to funding through specialized online platforms.

However, providing P2P lending services in Turkey necessitates meticulous adherence to regulatory protocols. To operate legally, platforms must secure a licence from the BRSA. The repercussions of unauthorized lending are severe, with penalties ranging from imprisonment for 2–5 years to fines reaching up to 500,000 Turkish liras.

Presently, a void exists in specialized Turkish legislation governing P2P finance. While this poses developmental challenges, it also presents an opportunity to establish tailored regulatory frameworks. The maturation of the Turkish P2P market holds immense potential, contingent on additional regulatory refinements and fortified investor confidence.


Crowdfunding emerges as a catalyst for Turkish startups, empowering enterprises and entrepreneurs to secure vital financing without resorting to traditional banking channels. Diverse crowdfunding models, including donations, rewards, equity, and debt financing platforms, offer distinct avenues for project funding.

Noteworthy in this sector is the obligation for equity-based crowdfunding platforms to obtain licensing from the CMB and adhere to operational standards.

While Turkish crowdfunding exhibits promise, challenges persist, notably in regulatory clarity. The absence of comprehensive guidelines, especially for non-securities crowdfunding, introduces uncertainties for both platforms and users.

Payments Services

Turkey's payment services industry, a linchpin in financial transactions, demands stringent adherence to legal requisites. Firms seeking to provide payment services must obtain licensing from the Central Bank, substantiating their commitment to safety and reliability standards.

Fintech payment services actively integrate advanced technologies like mobile payments, e-wallets, and instant settlement, propelling swift and seamless financial transactions. The industry's economic impact is palpable, fostering e-commerce and digital economic progress across Turkey.

The Turkish payments landscape, marked by continuous expansion and technological assimilation, underscores ongoing innovation, promising increasingly convenient and secure payment solutions.

Open Banking

Open banking, underpinned by APIs, facilitates secure third-party access to customer banking data, fostering consumer choice, personalization, and convenience. The collaborative ethos incentivizes banks to create advanced solutions through partnerships with fintechs.

Robust technologies like APIs play a pivotal role in efficient, secured data sharing between banks and third parties. Stringent data confidentiality and security controls ensure customer information remains accessible only with explicit user authorization.

As a nascent market in Turkey, open banking holds significant developmental headroom. Over time, appropriate legislation and technical standards are poised to drive market competition, innovation, and improved end-user experiences locally.

Investment and Asset Management

In the realm of investment and asset management fintechs, technology serves as the linchpin for administering investment portfolios, assets, and providing advisory and analytical services. Innovative technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain refine investment strategies and upgrade client experiences.

Relevant fintechs must meet regulatory obligations, including framework agreements with clients, account opening procedures, and CSD registration.

The sector witnesses global trends propelling growth, yet challenges persist in adapting to rapid technological shifts, ensuring risk management, and conforming to regulatory standards. Despite challenges, surging interest in digital investment and financial innovation portends immense sector growth potential.

Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies

Blockchain, a decentralized ledger underpinning cryptocurrencies, garners increasing attention in Turkey for enhancing transparency, efficiency, and security across finance, banking, and commerce.

Presently, Turkish law lacks explicit regulations on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, yet regulators acknowledge the need for prudent oversight. The active cryptocurrency market, despite lacking formal regulations, underscores surging consumer interest in digital assets.

Regulators, notably the CMB, caution against the speculative nature of investments in ICOs and cryptocurrencies. Ongoing innovation and integration efforts underscore the economic growth potential, prompting expectations of defined legislative frameworks to balance legitimacy and investor protection.

The evolving fintech ecosystem in Turkey is going through innovation, market expansion, and regulatory evolution. The journey ahead necessitates strategic collaborations, adaptive frameworks, and an unwavering commitment to ensuring financial system integrity.

AML and KYC requirements for Turkish fintechs

  1. Turkish fintech companies must comply with stringent anti-money laundering protocols, including transaction monitoring and suspicious activity reporting. This encompasses implementing controls preventing services exploitation for illicit money laundering.
  2. Fintech firms have explicit customer due diligence requirements to verify identities, including collecting first/last names, birthdates, citizenship details, identification numbers, and similar data.
  3. Continuous transaction monitoring represents an imperative for identifying and immediately reporting suspicious activity per relevant regulations. This bolsters the integrity and transparency of services while mitigating financial crime risks.

Robust AML & KYC obligations in Turkey create crucial safeguards to uphold the security of the fintech sector by preventing exploitation of financial services for illegal ends. Regulators are galvanizing more comprehensive supervision to ensure fintech compatibility with and adherence to these prudent regulatory frameworks.

Tax incentives for Turkish fintech firms

  1. Corporate tax exemption
    1. Fintechs actively engaged in innovation, inventions, or software development may secure full corporate tax exemption given their IP is patented locally or designated as a certified utility model.
  2. Preferential income tax treatment
    1. Partial income tax relief exists on revenues from renting, selling, or transferring patented innovations or certified software utilities. Specifically, 50% of said income qualifies tax-exempt, unlocking substantial savings for innovative fintech projects.

These incentives align with Turkey’s strategy to nurture innovation and technological advancement across its burgeoning fintech sector. By easing tax obligations, policymakers have crafted an enabling environment empowering fintech startups and emerging players alike to scale their impact.

Capital requirements for Turkish fintech companies


Minimum authorized capital requirement

E-Billing Services

TRY 1 Million

E-Payment Services

TRY 2 Million

E-Money Issuance

TRY 5 Million

Other fintech activities (variable requirements)

Contingent on regulators' assessments

These calibrated capital adequacy requirements seek to promote the fiscal sturdiness and resilience of Turkish fintech providers across respective market segments. Maintaining reasonable capital cushions helps manage risks and uphold sector-wide financial stability.


Turkey’s fintech sector represents a highly promising frontier for financial innovation. Fintech solutions stand to profoundly transform the nation’s financial services ecosystem by enabling more efficient customer experiences and banking operations.

By leveraging leading-edge technologies, Turkish fintech providers continue introducing novel offerings that reshape how individuals and enterprises manage finances and interact with institutions.

For detailed regulatory insights on launching or investing in Turkish fintech, leverage our consultants’ specialized expertise by filling out the contact form. Our team maintains an understanding of the latest market trends, compliance obligations, and growth considerations shaping this dynamic industry locally.

Consulting our professionals will empower more informed strategic decisions regarding participating in Turkey’s increasingly competitive fintech landscape.
Tags: fintech Turkey
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