Malta eMoney

eMoney describes any digital form of payment which may be made by voucher or card payments (both related to physical cards and virtual cards). In most countries  the origination of eMoney is licensable and authorised as part of a banking licence however in Malta eMoney issuers can obtain standalone authorisation by application for an eMoney licence and this licence can be passported throughout the European Union (EU).

Malta has an excellent tax environment (the lowest in the EU). There are numerous benefits but principal amongst these is the effective 5% corporation tax rate which will be applicable to profits made by an eMoney licence holder in Malta.

Licence Application

The applicant for this licence will be a Maltese company, for more information on Malta companies, their operation and taxation please see our main article on Maltese private companies.

The following documents must be submitted on application for licence: Memorandum & Articles of Association of the applicant company, business plan, organizational chart, financial projects, Know Your Client (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) manual and details of all involved legal and natural persons (including shareholders, beneficial owners, directors and senior officers) along with their diligence including a questionnaire and background/police checks. Various local advisors can handle the preparation and submission of all the above documents and usually charge a fee from beginning to end of licensing process.


The minimum capital requirement for an eMoney licence holder is 350,000 EUR or foreign currency equivalent.

The regulator requires at least two persons of good character with sufficient competence and experience. These people must effectively control the applicant company from within Malta. If the applicant does not have suitable persons in Malta or elsewhere who are willing to relocate to Malta many local providers can provide local directors with sufficient competence though this will naturally greatly increase the costs of local operation.

The following are the fees due to the regulator and do not include any costs relating to advisors handling the licence application or drafting of applicant, documents or procedures.

Application fee (non-refundable) of 1,200 EUR
Licence fee (upon approval) of 1,800 EUR

Annual fees
Between 2,500 EUR and 50,000 EUR depending on balance sheet. Since Malta has no thin capitalisation rules it will usually be possible to pay at the lower end of the spectrum. This fee is payable at the beginning of each calendar year.

Scope of Activity
The scope of activity is the origination of electronic money (including vouchers and debit cards) and the provision of related payment services as well as any matters ancillary to the above. The issuing of credit cards is not permitted under this licence.

Permission by the regulator to outsource functionality to non-Maltese providers may be granted but is assessed on a case by case basis considering amongst other things the country in which the outsourced provider is registered, whether or not they are regulated and the reasons for outsourcing.  Certain functions are likely to be given approval for outsourcing and in all cases the regulator will need to review the outsourcing agreements and credentials and diligence of the party.

As a general rule any authorisation received from an EU member state will allow the licence holder to operate in any other member state either immediately under the EU freedom to provide services or upon registration of a foreign branch and passporting provision may also extend wider than the EU. Many licence holders prefer to seek regulation in Malta as opposed to other countries which being larger generally allow much less direct access to the regulator and a far greater degree of bureaucracy. Malta’s status as a financial centre and its unparalleled access to the regulator make it a popular choice for all kinds of licensed activity within the EU.