The Electronic Money Association, which is a trade group representing major fintech companies including fintech giant Stripe, has been urging the Central Bank of Ireland to increase its access and produce more resources behind processing license applications.
The Brussels-based organization told Irelands Central Banks in a letter that in order to proceed with their strategic plan for the next two years that it needs to allow the proper training of personnel and skills at the Bank to process the ever-increasing number of applications from fintech firms. The EMA represents businesses that provide payment services that require electronic money, or e-money, licenses to operate. Some of their members include Google and Revolut are behind the initiative.
“The number of firms applying for a license with the CBI to offer payments, e-money or crypto asset services continues to increase, and existing applications will continue to require ongoing and substantial CBI resources,” the organization said. “Not appointing sufficient resource to this process may have a reputational impact on the CBI over time.” It added that resources are needed “to identify, quantify, and manage any new risks, or familiar risks in new forms”.
Since the 2016 Brexit vote, a number of major fintech companies have opted for Ireland for e-money licensing, including the Collison brothers’ Stripe and Jack Dorsey’s Square. Revolut has an application pending. At its current pace, the Central Bank takes between 18 and 24 months to process these applications.
“Resources are allocated in a manner which ensures that all applications are assessed on a timely basis, in accordance with the authorization framework in place,” a spokesperson for the Central Bank of Ireland said. “The level of resourcing of all areas is reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure that it remains appropriate.”
Another initiative the Electronic Money Association also raised is its objection with the mandate to have licensed companies only staffed with Irish employees. The group has asserted that Covid-19 remote working trends meant that this wasn’t necessary.
Keane, Jonathan. “Central Bank Is Urged to Improve Fintech Resources.” Independent, 16 May 2021, www.independent.ie/business/irish/central-bank-is-urged-to-improve-fintech-resources-40427421.html.