Seven FinTech companies in Pakistan have received in-principle and pilot approvals to operate as Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) in 2020.
These EMIs have planned to provide services of E-money wallet to merchants and customers. One EMI is also working to offer services, including a payment gateway to consumers and merchants.
The five companies that received pilot approvals from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) include Finja, Nayapay, Wemsol, SadaTech, and CMPECC. Some of these companies are working tirelessly to expand through collaboration with various financial institutions and connecting with their targeted audience under the given domain.
The two companies, EP Systems and TAG Innovations, were granted In-Principle approval by the central bank.
SBP clarified that In-Principle approval letters are granted to EMIs based on the information submitted by them and a review of their application for In-Principle approval under regulations for EMIs. It must not be construed as an endorsement of the EMIs proposed business model, financial viability, etc., by the SBP.
The central bank also clarified that it would not be responsible for any financial, legal, and reputational loss to any entity or individual who has established a business relationship with the respective EMI based on the In-Principle approval letter.
Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) issue e-money and offer innovative, user-friendly, and cost-effective low-value digital payment prepaid instruments like wallets, prepaid cards, and contactless payment instruments. These innovative payment instruments have been conducive in promoting cashless payments like merchant checkouts, e-commerce, transportation, and toll payments, etc.
According to regulations, an entity that wants to become an EMI shall hold an initial capital of Rs. 200 million. Existing Payment System Operators and Payment Service Providers (PSOs/PSPs) that intend to become EMIs and undertake e-money business shall hold an additional capital of Rs. 100 million.
EMIs may engage in the following activities:
- Issue e-money payment instrument
- Distribute e-money payment instruments
- Redeem e-money payment instruments
- Any other activity permitted by SBP
E-money shall be used to make payments for goods and services, bill payments, fund transfers, and cash deposits and withdrawals from e-money accounts. These companies shall not conduct the business of banking, including the acceptance of funds from the public for lending, investments, or any speculative activity.
These shall neither pay interest/returns to customers in connection with the length of time e-money is held by consumers nor shall offer anything that adds to the monetary value of e-money.
EMI shall not issue e-money payment instruments at a discount, i.e., issue e-money payment instruments that have a monetary value greater than the funds received from customers.