Obtaining a Payment Institution license in South African Republic

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Obtaining a PI license in South African Republicin 2020

The main advantages of obtaining a payment system license:

  • Developed economy; - Stable banking system;
  • Government's interest in attracting foreign investment;
  • Transparency of business processes;
  • An enabling business environment.
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Currently, the payment system licensing process in South African Republic under the FSR is the responsibility of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

Further, in the article we will consider the aspects of obtaining a license for payment services in South African Republic, the registration procedure, and the basic requirements of the Regulator.

Obtaining a PSP license in SAR

According to the laws of South Africa, an entity cannot conduct business related to the provision of payment services without an appropriate license, which can be called a payment institution license or PI license.

An application for ordering a PI license in South African Republic must be approved by the responsible authority and submitted in written form to the SARB, along with supporting information and documents.

In addition, all the above must contain the information necessary to demonstrate that the applicant complies with the licensing requirements specified in Sections 14-16 and Appendices 2,3 and 4 of the Guidelines for Financial Institutions, and that he can satisfy these requirements on an ongoing basis.

Also, the applicant must provide any other information specified by the SARB and to pay the fixed fee.

Applying to the SARB for a PI license

When applying for obtaining a PI license in South African Republic, you need to consider the following:

  • The objectives of the regulatory body set out in section 33 or 57 of the FSR;
  • Financial and other resources necessary for licensing and doing business;
  • Identity requirements for an applicant, key and significant persons in the corporate structure;
  • Corporate governance and risk management mechanisms;
  • The presence of any false or misleading statements made in the process of filling an application.
At the same time, the responsible body cannot issue a license if it was not convinced that:
  • The applicant has at his disposal sufficient resources and capabilities to ensure that he will comply with the requirements of laws and licenses; and
  • The issuance of a license for payment services will not conflict with the interests of the financial sector or the public interest.

The application for obtaining a PSP license is considered by SARB within three months. At the same time, the Regulator is entitled by notifying the applicant, to extend the consideration of the application for one or more periods. The total period must not exceed 9 months.

Conditions for obtaining a license for electronic payment services

A company applying for obtaining a PI license in SAR, must meet all the following requirements and convince the Regulator that:

  • It is ready to abide by the appropriate rules and laws;
  • It has a business plan that demonstrates the sustainability of a financial institution, its ability to meet customer needs, and leads to fair business with customers;
  • It has adequate capabilities for the operational management of the licensed business;
  • It is able to comply with the requirements prescribed for the provision of payment services in South African Republic, where they can be met;
  • It can comply with the FSR and any other laws applicable to the financial sector, and the licensing of the applicant’s payment institution cannot be in conflict with the interests of the financial sector or the public interest; and
  • It meets any other prescribed licensing requirements.

In order to maintain a license, the licensee must comply with the general licensing requirements specified in sections 15, 16 of the Guide and annexes 2,3 and 4, as well as the licensing conditions specified in section 19 on an ongoing basis .

In addition, the licensee is obliged to specify information about obtained license in all business documents, advertisements and other advertising materials. Also, the licensee must provide the information about this license to any person asking about its availability.

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It is worth noting that, when considering an application for obtaining a PSP license in SAR, the Regulator may request an additional information or documents, and check any information provided by the company along with the application.

If the applicant does not provide additional information, the Regulator shall terminate the consideration of the application until the requirement is met.

IQ Decision services

It is important to understand that this article should not be construed as legal advice or instructions for action, since it was published for informative purposes.

If the reader has any questions related to the obtaining a license for a payment system in South Africa, he can determine the ways for further actions together with IQ Decision experts by receiving legal advice on a financial business licensing in SAR.

Moreover, we remind you that our specialists are ready to offer their clients:

  • Legal support in obtaining a PI license in South African Republic;
  • Assistance in registering a company in SAR;
  • Legal assistance in preparing a business plan for a payment institution; and
  • Other legal services.

You can find out more information about our company's services and order a legal advice on payment system licensing process by filling out the feedback form, or by calling IQ Decision specialists directly at the contacts below.

  • The information outlined in the article is actual at the time of its publication.

  • Please refer to our specialists for checking possible solutions for your business.

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