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Obtaining a Payment Institution license in Panama

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Obtaining a payment system license in Panama in 2020

Key benefits of obtaining a PI license in Panama:

  • Stable economic situation;
  • No minimum capital requirements;
  • No requirements for a physical office registration;
  • Favorable environment for doing business;
  • Fast application review process.
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Many jurisdictions provide an opportunity to obtain a license for a payment system, but in most of them applicants facing with a lot of difficulties. But not in case of the Panama. The provision of electronic payment services in Panama is a licensed but unregulated activity.

The PI license in Panama is issued by the Panama Department of Commerce and Industry (MICI). It allows a licensed company to carry out the following types of operations:

  • Acceptance of funds from customers;
  • Remittances;
  • Intermediation in the process of making payments, etc.

At the same time, the license does not allow conducting complex activities related to finances (accepting savings and issuing loans, currency exchange and cash transfers, etc.), as well as banking activities, which are regulated by the Superintendency of Banks of Panama.

Further, in the article, we will consider the minimum necessary requirements for obtaining a PI license in Panama, and provide some recommendations.

Obtaining a license for payment services in Panama

First of all, the most interesting feature that should be noted is the absence of capital requirements (minimum paid-up capital) for companies intending to provide electronic payment services in Panama. Nevertheless, it is still recommended contributing capital that is comparable in the amount with European standards (approximately 100,000-200,000 EUR).

It is also necessary to mention that in order to obtain a Panamanian PI license you are not required to have a real office. It is enough to have a virtual office with a telephone, fax and address for receiving correspondence.

However, again, it is better to open a full-fledged office in Panama with several employees, even if it is not required by local laws. The fact is that a local company, albeit a small one, has more chances to obtain a PI license than a company with a virtual office.

Thus, the local presence and the presence of paid-in capital will allow access to a wider list of Panamanian banks, since more or less reputable banks seek to conduct business only with local companies. In addition, the local office will allow you to place equipment in Panama, and deal with emerging work difficulties as soon as possible.

The submission of a package of documents and an application for obtaining a Panamanian PI license is carried out with the MICI. Typically, the regulatory body reviews properly drawn up applications within 2-3 weeks. You must also understand that MICI may require additional information or documentation, and this may delay the process somewhat. Therefore, it is impossible to accurately predict the actual process duration of obtaining a payment institution license in Panama.

Read also:
List of documents needed for obtaining a PI license in Panama

In general, the package of documents is standard for licenses of this type, and, among other things, includes:

  • Copies of AOA;
  • Business plan;
  • Forecasts regarding expected income;
  • Description of the processes of payment operations;
  • Description of monitoring, security and control procedures;
  • Description of the corporate structure.
IQD Consulting services

The process of ordering a PI license in Panama looks simpler, but from the very beginning, it would be better for you to take the licensing process responsibly, showing focus and providing yourself with reliable legal support.

Please, note that this article has been prepared for informative purposes, and is not legal advice. If you have any specific questions related to obtaining PI licenses in Panama, IQD Consulting experts are ready to provide comprehensive professional advice on licensing payment systems.

Moreover, the specialists of our company can provide you with competent support in obtaining a PI license, help you to prepare a business plan, collect the necessary package of documents, and offer other legal services.

You can request for professional advice on payment institution licensing procedure and find out detailed information about our services by calling us directly at the contacts listed in the form below.

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