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Licensing and supervision of Electronic Money Institutions


(Laws and Directives mentioned in the text that follows can be accessed from the links at the end of this page)

In accordance with the provisions of  the Electronic Money Law, 2012 (hereinafter to be referred to as the «Law») which was enacted for the purposes of harmonisation with the act of the European Community entitled “Directive 2009/110/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009” amending Directives 2005/60/EC and 2006/48/EC and repealing Directive 2000/46/EC, electronic money services in the Republic of Cyprus may only be provided by an electronic money institution which has been granted an authorisation by the Central Bank of Cyprus («CBC»).

Notwithstanding the provisions of the Law concerning authorisations, the following persons may provide electronic money services in the Republic of Cyprus without obtaining the prior approval of the CBC:

  • Banks licensed by the CBC or by a competent supervisory authority of another EU member state.
  • Cooperative credit institutions which have been licensed by the Authority for the Supervision and Development of Cooperative Societies of Cyprus.
  • Institutions which provide postal payment services and which issue electronic money by virtue of relevant legislation.
  • The European Central Bank and national central banks when not acting in their capacity as monetary or other public authorities.
  • Member states or their regional or local authorities when not acting in their capacity as public authorities.
  • Electronic money institutions that have been granted and maintain a valid authorisation to operate by the competent supervisory authorities of other EU member states. These institutions may either exercise the right of establishment or the right to provide services on a cross - border basis, provided that the competent authorities of the home member state submit to the CBC a notification in the manner prescribed by the Electronic Money Institutions Directive (241/2012) issued by the CBC.

An authorisation for the operation of an electronic money institution is only granted to a legal person which has been incorporated and has its head office in the Republic of Cyprus. For the purpose of obtaining an authorisation as an electronic money institution, interested persons must submit an application to the CBC accompanied by the information and documents prescribed in paragraph 3 of the  Electronic Money Institutions Directive (241/2012) issued by the CBC by virtue of the powers vested in it under the Law.  In the aforementioned Directive the following are also, inter alia, defined:

  • The amount of the initial capital as well as the amount of own funds that electronic money institutions are required to maintain;
  • The methods for safeguarding the funds received by electronic money institutions;
  • The delegation of operational functions to third parties;
  • The right to   exercise the freedom of establishment and the freedom to provide services in another EU member state without establishment;
  • The criteria which an agent of an electronic money institution must fulfil in order to be listed in the public register maintained by the Central Bank of Cyprus.

 In view of the need to safeguard the sound and prudent management of an electronic money institution, the CBC will grant an authorisation provided that it has been satisfied that the electronic money institution maintains an adequate organisational framework for its electronic money services business. This includes a clear organisational structure with well-defined, transparent and consistent lines of responsibility, effective procedures to identify, manage, monitor and report the risks to which it is or might be exposed, as well as adequate internal control mechanisms, including sound administrative and accounting procedures. Therefore, applicants must ensure that the arrangements, procedures and mechanisms described in their business plan are comprehensive and proportionate to the nature, scale and complexity of the electronic money services applied for.

For the sake of speed and convenience, legal persons interested in obtaining an authorisation for providing electronic money services, are required to submit to the CBC the following documents:

(a) Confirmation by a credit institution operating in an EU member state confirming that the applicant has committed in a bank account the amount of capital provided in Section 12 of the Law (€350.000).

(b) Duly completed and signed the following documents-

Application for authorisation as an Electronic Money Institution (EMD/Q1) 

To this end, applicants are urged to ensure that all required data and documents are included in the application before submitting it to the CBC, so that delays in evaluating the application are avoided.

Legal and natural persons which/who intend to hold a controlling shareholding (10% or more) in the share capital of an electronic money institution, the members of its board of directors as well as the persons who will be responsible for the management of the applicant are required to complete and submit to the CBC, as applicable, questionnaires EMD/Q2 and/or EMD/Q3 which are available at the following links:

 Questionnaire EMD/Q2

To be completed by legal persons:

(a) which hold /propose to hold, directly or indirectly a controlling shareholding  in the share capital of the  applicant (the term «control» has the meaning ascribed to it by section 2 of the Banking Law, 1997 as subsequently amended), or

(b) which are partners in an applicant partnership within the meaning of the General and Limited Partnerships and Business Names Law.

Questionnaire EMD/Q3

To be completed by natural persons:

(a) who hold /propose to hold directly or indirectly  a controlling shareholding  in the share capital of  the applicant,

(b) who are partners in an applicant partnership, within the meaning of the General and Limited Partnerships and Business Names Law and

(c) who are directors/proposed directors of the applicant as well as persons who will be responsible for the management of the applicant.

An electronic money institution which has been granted an authorisation by the CBC and intends to provide electronic money services through an agent and/or exercise the right of establishment or the right of freedom to provide services in another EU member state without establishment and/or to have its authorisation extended to cover additional payment services, must complete and submit to the CBC an appropriate application/notification for this purpose.

Maintenance of Register of electronic money institutions by the CBC

The CBC, acting in accordance with the provisions of the Law, maintains public registers which include: 

  • the names of the electronic money institutions to which it has granted authorisation to offer electronic money services,
  • the names of the electronic money institutions which have been authorised in other EU member states and which have exercised the right of establishment or the right of freedom to provide cross-border services in the Republic of Cyprus.

The CBC is responsible for the supervision and compliance with the provisions of the Law of all electronic money institutions which have been authorised by it. In addition, the CBC is responsible for the supervision of certain operational functions of banks and electronic money institutions which have been authorised in other EU member states and offer electronic money services in the Republic of Cyprus under the freedom of establishment or through an agent.

The above Registers are available at the following links:

For more information please contact the Licensing Section of the Central Bank of Cyprus at 22714300, licensingsection@centralbank.cy