How to Get an EMI License in the UAE?

How to Get an EMI License in the UAE?

This article will help you understand how to get an EMI License in the UAE.

Electronic Money Institutions (EMI) are authorized to provide financial services to third parties and store their funds in segregated accounts. Being nimbler and swifter in their processes, EMIs have carved their own space in the modern business landscape of the UAE.

Some examples of EMIs include:

  • Digital wallet providers: These companies offer digital wallets that can be loaded with money and used for online and offline purchases.
  • Mobile money providers: These companies allow customers to transfer money, make payments, and access financial services using their mobile devices.
  • Payment service providers: These companies offer payment solutions such as online checkout and recurring payments for merchants and businesses.
  • P2P payment platforms: These companies allow individuals to send and receive money directly to one another using an app or website.

Getting an EMI License for a Local Licensed Company

To obtain an EMI license in the UAE, an applicant must follow the guidelines and requirements set by the Central Bank of the UAE.

The process for obtaining an EMI license typically involves the following steps:

  • Submit an application to the Central Bank licensing department with all required documents and information. In addition, provide a detailed business plan and demonstrate the ability to meet all regulatory requirements, including financial projections, capital adequacy, and compliance with AML and CFT laws.
  • Pay the application fee.
  • Undergo a due diligence process as set forth by the Central Bank.
  • Obtain any necessary approvals or permits from other government agencies, if required.
  • The Central Bank will review the application in detail and decide whether to grant or deny the license.

The Central Bank aims to give EMI firms easier access to the UAE market while continuing to safeguard customers’ funds and ensuring proper business conduct. However, it is essential to note that the regulations and requirements may change over time as technology advances, so staying informed about the current requirements for an EMI license in the UAE is crucial.

Getting an EMI license for a DIFC or ADGM Company

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) are free zones with their own regulatory framework and legal system focusing on finance.

To obtain an EMI license from the DIFC or ADGM, an applicant must follow the guidelines and requirements set by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) or the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), which are the regulatory body responsible for supervising and regulating financial institutions in the DIFC and ADGM.

Related: Comparison between Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

The process to get a business license is quite like that of the Central Bank, except that you will submit all your documents to the DFSA / FSRA for review and approval. The key elements that both these regulators are looking for are:

  • Operational, financial, and supervisory track record of the enterprise and stakeholders.
  • Fitness and propriety of management and key decision makers.
  • Systems and controls of the enterprise to ensure proper governance and compliance with all applicable regulations.
  • Ability to cater to customer complaints, a robust data security infrastructure, and well-developed internal protocols.

Put your best foot forward!

Getting an EMI license via the Central Bank or the two financial free zones can be difficult and drain a lot of time and energy if you are not familiar with the critical aspects of a successful application. You can avoid the hassle of months of back and forth with the regulatory bodies by processing your application via one of the best business consultants in Dubai who have an in-depth understanding of what it takes to get a license as swiftly as possible. Timeframes for an EMI license can range from 6 months to a year. Please get in touch with us to see how we can get your license as fast as possible!

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