Authorisation Process for Electronic Money Institutions 

The Central Bank of Ireland ('Central Bank') is the competent authority in Ireland for the authorisation and supervision of Electronic Money Institutions. The European Communities (Electronic Money) Regulations 2011 ('Regulations'), S.I. No. 183 of 2011, transposed Directive 2009/110/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the taking up, pursuit and prudential supervision of the business of electronic money institutions ('Directive') and became effective in Ireland on 30 April 2011.

Each potential applicant must consider whether its proposed business model:

  • requires authorisation pursuant to the Regulations (including meeting the definition of an ‘Electronic Money Institution’ as per the Directive)
  • complies with the Central Bank’s requirements and
  • is capable of complying with, and adhering to, the requirements that must be satisfied on an ongoing basis.

Having satisfactorily completed this consideration, the applicant must contact the Central Bank (Consumer Protection: Retail Intermediaries and Payment Institutions Division) in order to arrange a preliminary meeting.

Prior to submitting an application for authorisation, applicants are advised to provide introductory information - an introduction and overview of the firm in addition to a transaction flow diagram outlining the applicant's proposed payment services. Subsequent to the provision of this information, the Central Bank will arrange a preliminary meeting to discuss an applicant's proposal. Details of the information required at the introductory and preliminary meeting stages are outlined in the following document, Pre-Application Submission Requirements.

The introductory and preliminary information serve a dual purpose, enabling the Central Bank to familiarise itself with the background and key elements of the applicant's proposals whilst identifying, at a critical stage, any potential issues with the proposed business.

Please refer to the Guidance Notes for Completing an Application for Authorisation as an E-Money Institution for guidance in relation to the requirements of the Central Bank for establishing an Electronic Money Institution in Ireland (including its distributors, agents and branches).

Applicants seeking authorisation under the Directive should submit the following material:

 Applications that do not contain the key authorisation documents listed above or that contain documentation that is materially incomplete will be returned to the applicant. 

For a document setting out the prudential supervision requirements for Electronic Money Institutions authorised by the Central Bank, please follow the following link.

Each applicant should bear in mind the nature of its proposed business and structure in preparing an application for submission. The Central Bank will advise the applicant of any additional information or clarification required, having reviewed the documentation submitted, by issuing detailed written comments to the applicant or its legal representative, as appropriate.

An effective and expeditious authorisation process depends on the timeliness and quality of responses received to the Central Bank's comments.