Following the latest developments in the FinTech sector, the new regulation on payment services and providers of electronic money issuance and payment services (“Regulation“) was published in the Official Journal on 1 December 2021 canceling the Regulation on payment services and the issuance of electronic money, payment institutions and electronic money institutions of 7 June 2014.
The regulation makes significant changes to the principles of electronic money issuance, to the operating authorizations of payment and electronic money institutions (“Establishment (s)“), the measures to be taken in various fields by the Institutions, and the provision of services with foreign legal persons.
-Amended authorization procedure and requests to the Central Bank to operate in the field of payment services or to issue electronic money in Turkey provided in two stages: information review stage and final approval stage.
-The company applying for the business license must pay the application fee of 500,000 TL to initiate the business license application process.
-After the documents required for the intelligence review phase have been submitted to the Central Bank, these documents and the information and documents provided by the Central Bank are assessed and approved by the Central Bank for the intelligence review phase if deemed appropriate.
– Unless the request is made for the final approval phase within the time limit, the requesting company loses all its rights in the context of the intelligence examination phase. In this case, the company requesting the authorization to operate must take the necessary steps for the re-intelligence examination phase.
-With final approval, the operating license is granted. The company that has obtained an operating permit notifies the Central Bank that it has started to operate within 10 days from the date of commencement of its activities. The operating company is required to pay the license fee of 1,000,000 TL per notification.
-The new regulation provides that national institutions can cooperate with legal persons residing abroad, which have obtained the authorization of the Central Bank, to exercise their object or their activities.
-For this cooperation, the foreign legal person to cooperate is authorized to provide payment services or to issue electronic money by the competent authorities of the country where its head office is located.
-It is compulsory that the documents and records concerning the payment transactions to be carried out as a result of the cooperation be kept at national level by the Institution.
-It is expected that intangible assets that are issued only in exchange for one-to-one fiat currency created virtually and distributed over digital networks will be accepted as electronic money.
-The customer can request a partial or total refund of the electronic money.
-According to the customer’s preference, the reimbursement is made by converting the electronic money into banknotes, coins, deposit money or electronic money issued by another Institution.
-In cases where the e-money fund is paid by credit card, the e-money will only be refunded to the same credit card account.
One of the new concepts provided for by the regulation is that of anonymous prepaid tools. An anonymous prepaid tool means a prepaid tool that is not connected to any payment account in any way and that has not been identified or verified. It can be used by making a prepayment.
-Anonymous prepaid tools can only be used i) in payment transactions where the holder of the anonymous prepaid tool is physically present and payment is made physically, and, ii) in payment transactions and payment transactions of invoices made through a service provider guaranteeing a trust stamp.
-Workplace code is intended to be assigned to workplaces providing goods and services through a payment method as part of payment services in order to prevent fraud and malicious use in the area of payments .
-It is clearly intended that the investment of payment funds in the overnight interest protection account does not constitute a violation. Thus, it is possible to deposit the payment funds and generate interest overnight in the same bank.
-However, such a facility has not been introduced for electronic money protection accounts.
-Institutions must provide insurance to the Central Bank.
I. The minimum amount of insurance required by payment institutions providing services for the exclusive mediation of bill payments is 2,000,000 TL,
ii. The minimum amount of insurance that other payment institutions must keep with the Central Bank is 3,000,000 TL,
iii. The minimum amount of insurance that electronic money institutions must keep with the Central Bank is 5,000,000 TL.
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-It is expected that the payment service provider will be required to take the necessary technological and operational measures to ensure that the framework agreement executed via a remote communication tool is as secure and reliable as the framework agreement executed with the physical presence of the parties.
-The payment service provider must provide the information and documents to be obtained from the customer regarding the framework agreement to be executed by means of distance communication using methods such as mail, fax, e-mail and online video calls, a central structure approved by the Central Bank, or other innovative methods adapted to the technology of the day.
-In the event that the payment service provider performs a payment transaction through a framework agreement to be established via a remote communication tool, the terms of the agreement will be published on its website.
-The payment service provider is required to prepare an easily readable electronic or physical information form, written in clear and easily understandable language, containing the rights of consumers regarding payment transactions.
-This information form, in addition to the rights of consumers regarding payment transactions, includes information on alternative access channels and innovative payment methods that they can use to carry out these transactions, security measures and protection linked to these transactions, the need to make remuneration in a fair and transparent manner. manner, and alternative methods regarding the rights to complain and enforce.
The regulation entered into force on December 1, 2021, and a one-year compliance period is provided for stakeholders operating in the fintech sector to comply with recent obligations.