Passporting In/Out for Electronic Money Institutions 

E-Money instituions can avail of the right to issue, redeem and distribute E-Money or to provide payment services in the other Member States of the EU.

The provisions relating to the exercise of this right are applied mutatis mutandi from Directive 2007/64/EC on Payment Services in the Internal Market ('the Payment Services Directive') which sets out the principle of a single authorisation for payment institutions and this provides that a firm may provide the services for which it is authorised in its Home State throughout the EU.  This can be done either through the establishment of branch offices or by the engagement of agents or distributors in other EU Member States or through the free provision of services on a cross border basis (i.e. without establishing a permanent presence).  

The competent Regulatory Authorities in Europe responsible for the supervision of E-Money institutions engage in practical co-operation for the purpose of facilitating the passport notification process for payment institutions.   In that regard, a set of supervisory guidelines have been developed to support this process.

Branch / Engagement of Agents and/or Distributors

An E-Money institution authorised in Ireland under the provisions of the European Communities (Electronic Money) Regulations, 2011 wishing to establish a branch in another Member State must communicate certain information to the Central Bank as agreed under the supervisory guidelines referred to above.  

An E-Money institution may engage use agents and distribute E-money through distributors located in other EU Member States.  In that regard, E-money cannot be issued through agents.  However, those agents may provide payment services which are not associated with the issuance of E-money.  

When the Central Bank is satisfied with the information provided by the E-money institution, the notification shall be transmitted to the relevant Regulatory Authority.   If after one month of the receipt from the E-Money institution of the information referred to above, the Central Bank has not received any negative information from the Host Member State Regulator, the branch and/or agent or distributor will be registered.  

The E-Money institution Freedom of Establishment Notification Form and a Schedule for the Engagement of Agents or Distributors are available to download at forms.aspx.

Cross Border / Freedom of Services

An E-Money institution wishing to avail of the free provision of services on a cross border basis in another EU Member State must communicate certain information to the Central Bank as agreed under the supervisory guidelines referred to above.  

The E-money insttituion may commence business in the Host Member State upon being notified by the Central Bank that the approproate notification has been sent to the Host Member State Regulator.

The E-Money institution Freedom of Services Notification Form is available to download at forms.aspx.

Changes

An E-Money institution is required to notify the Central Bank of any change in respect of the provision of cross border services or the operation of a branch at least one month before implementing the proposed change so that the appropriate notification can be made to the relevant Regulatory Authorities in the Member States concerned.  

Role of Central Bank as Home State Regulator  

When the Central Bank authorises an E-Money institution, it is responsible as Home State Regulator, for regulating that firm’s activities both in Ireland and in other EU Member States.  

Role of Central Bank as Host State Regulator

As the Host State Regulator, the Central Bank is not responsible for the prudential supervision of Irish branches of E-Money institutions authorised in other EU Member States.