New Electronic Money and Payment Services Regulation


The CBRT regulation, which is eagerly awaited by the payment and electronic money institutions currently operating in Turkey, or by those who want to obtain a payment/electronic money institution license, entered into force after being published in the Official Gazette dated 1 December 2021. The Regulation on Payment Services and Electronic Money Issuance and Payment Service Providers (Regulation) published by the CBRT includes new regulations on many issues. In this article, the innovations brought by the Regulation on the licensing process of payment and electronic money institutions are included. Other innovations brought by the regulation will be included in our articles that we will write in the future.

With the regulation, very important innovations have been introduced regarding the licensing process. While license (operating permit) applications were evaluated in a single stage before the regulation came into force, license applications are now finalized in a three-stage process with the new regulation introduced by the Regulation.

  • Application to the CBRT for the establishment of the company
  • Application to the CBRT for the intelligence review phase
  • Application to the CBRT for the final approval stage

First Stage: Application to the CBRT for company establishment

At this stage, an application is made to the CBRT with a petition and permission is requested in order to establish a payment/electronic money institution and register it in the trade registry. The draft of the organization’s articles of association is also attached to the petition. At this stage, five hundred thousand Turkish Liras, which is the license application fee, must be paid and the receipt must be submitted to the CBRT. A document is issued by the CBRT and given to the applicant. With this document, it is possible to register the payment/electronic money institution planned to be established. It is obligatory to make an application regarding the second stage, the “intelligence review stage”, within six months following the notification of the document issued by the CBRT to the applicant.

Second Stage: Application to the CBRT for the intelligence review stage

As stated in Stage 1, this application must be made within six months from the notification of the document issued by the CBRT regarding the registration of the institution to the applicant. In order to make an application for this stage, the organization must be registered in the trade registry. At the registration stage, the minimum capital amount specified in the Law No. 6493 must be paid in cash. Minimum capital amount; two million Turkish Lira for payment institutions; five million Turkish Liras for electronic money institutions; one million Turkish Liras only for payment institutions that will mediate bill payments. After the company is registered in the trade registry, all information and documents specified in the Regulation regarding the company, its partners and members of the board of directors should be prepared and an application should be made to the CBRT.

If the result of the evaluation made by the CBRT is positive, the approval regarding the intelligence review phase is given and the applicant is notified in writing.

Third Stage: Application to the CBRT for the final approval stage

An application for the “final approval stage” must be made within one hundred and twenty days at the latest following the written notification regarding the approval of the intelligence review stage by the CBRT. In order to be able to apply for this stage, the organization’s organizational structure and personnel must be established, and the information systems infrastructure must be ready and operational. Before making the final approval application to the CBRT, the following procedures should be done;

  • Necessary capital increase procedures should be carried out in order to ensure that the company’s own resources are at the minimum amount specified in the Regulation. The minimum equity amount is three million TL for payment institutions that will only mediate bill payments, 5 million TL for other payment institutions, and thirteen million TL for electronic money institutions.
  • The amount of collateral determined by the regulation must be deposited into the CBRT account. The amount of the guarantee is two million Turkish Liras only for payment institutions that will act as an intermediary for bill payments, three million Turkish liras for other payment institutions and five million Turkish liras for electronic money institutions.
  • Payment institutions that will only offer the payment service (consolidated account information service) specified in subparagraph (g) of the first paragraph of the Law No. 6493 must take out a professional liability insurance of at least one million Turkish Liras or have a guarantee of one million Turkish Liras with the CBRT.
  • An independent audit of the company’s capital, equities, corporate structure and information systems should be carried out.

If, as a result of the evaluation made by the CBRT, it is decided that the application is positive, an operating permit (license) is granted to the applicant institution. The decision on granting an Operating Permit is published in the Official Gazette. Before the decision is published in the Official Gazette, the financial activity permit fee obligation must be fulfilled. The institution that has obtained a license (operating permit) must notify the CBRT that it has started its activities and must pay the license fee of one million Turkish Liras before this notification. The license fee is determined in the same amount for all establishments.

In summary, with the new regulations brought by the regulation;

  • The license application of payment and electronic money institutions has been made in three stages
  • A fee is required to apply for a license.
  • Before the final approval (licensing) stage, the minimum equity requirement, which is set much higher than the minimum paid-in capital amount, must be fulfilled.
  • Coverage and professional liability insurance obligations in the amount determined before the final approval (licensing) stage must be fulfilled.
  • The licensee is required to pay the specified license fee.

Av. Dr. Mehmet S. YURTÇİÇEK                                                              Recep Aktekin
Senior Consultant                                                                                   Executive Senior Consultant