Payment services essentially comprise:
- Services enabling cash to be deposited into or withdrawn from a payment account and the transactions required to manage such an account;
- Execution of payment transactions associated with a payment account (card payments, credit transfers and direct debits);
- Transmission of funds;
- Issuance of means of payment and/or acquisition of payment orders.
In addition to payment services, payment institutions may provide related services as defined in the applicable regulations.
Before licensing a payment institution, the ACPR checks the following:
- suitability of the legal form for the proposed activity,
- sufficient initial capital and level of prudential capital with respect to capital requirements,
- programme of operations and technical and financial resources,
- identity and status of direct and indirect capital contributors, and where applicable, of their guarantors,
- central administration located in the same national territory as the registered office,
- sound governance arrangements including a clear organisational structure with a well-defined, transparent and consistent division of responsibilities,
- persons effectively running the undertaking or the persons placed in charge of the payment services activity in the case of hybrid institutions (institutions pursuing other commercial activities) must meet propriety, knowledge, experience and fitness requirements,
- effective risk detection, management and control procedures and an appropriate internal control system, including sound administrative and accounting procedures and appropriate arrangements to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing,
- protection of user funds,
- resources implemented to ensure the security of means of payment and general organisation to ensure security, oversight of orderly operation and fraud prevention.
If it is expected that the payment volumes handled by your institution will not exceed a monthly average of EUR 3 million and if you do not plan to provide the service of fund transmission, it is possible to apply to the ACPR for a limited payment institution licence (art. L522-11-1 of the Monetary and Financial Code).
In this case, the prudential requirements are adjusted, notably in terms of initial capital, capital requirements and internal control (restricted to control of key service providers). This category of institution is not eligible for a European passport.