Electronic money institutions

Electronic money institutions are legal persons authorised to issue electronic money, meaning any monetary value stored by electronic or magnetic means representing a claim on the issuer, which is issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of making payment transactions and which is accepted by a natural or legal person other than the electronic money issuer. Electronic money institutions may also provide payment services not related to the issue of money.

Its regulatory system is set out in Law 21/2011 of 26 July 2011Opens in new window on electronic money, as amended by Royal Decree-Law 19/2018, of 23 November 2018Opens in new window on payment services and other urgent financial measures, and its implementing regulation approved by Royal Decree 778/2012, of 4 May 2012Opens in new window on the legal system governing electronic money institutions insofar as it does not conflict with Royal Decree- Law 19/2018.

The Banco de España shall be responsible for authorising the creation of electronic money institutions, following a report by the Executive Service of the Commission for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Monetary Offences on matters within its competence.

The application must be submitted to the Banco de España. The authorisation procedure and the documentation that must accompany the application and the deadline for a decision can be consulted in the Banco de España's Virtual OfficeOpens in new window.

The notification procedure for the opening of branches and the freedom to provide services in Spain by electronic money institutions from other EU member states is subject to the Banco de España receiving a communication from the supervisory authority of the electronic money institution's home country. In the case of branches, upon receipt of the notification, the Banco de España shall notify the electronic money institution and the latter, after having registered the branch in the Commercial Register, shall also proceed to register it in the Special Register of the Banco de España. Once registered, the branch may commence its activities, although it must notify the Banco de España of the date on which these activities actually commence. Freedom to provide services may commence as soon as the Banco de España receives notification from the supervisory authority of the country of origin.