Recent developments

Kick-starting what is expected to be the rapid growth of a newly regulated market in Turkey, the Central Bank and Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA) have published decisions approving select payment and securities settlement systems, and granting system operators as well as select payment service providers and electronic money institutions operating licenses. 

Background

Payment and electronic money services had long been unregulated in Turkey, allowing international players to operate without being required to obtain a license. This changed with the enactment of Law No. 6493 on Payment and Securities Settlement Systems, Payment Services and Electronic Money Institutions ("Payment Law") in 2013, which introduced licensing requirements for companies offering these services.

The Payment Law, which entered into force in July this year, specifies that only entities with an operating license from the Central Bank can operate payment and securities clearing systems in Turkey. Similarly, only entities with an operating license from the BRSA can provide payment services or issue electronic money in Turkey.

The new players

Payment and securities settlement systems

The Central Bank has appointed the following as "payment systems" under the Payment Law and granted operating licenses to their operators:

  • Check Clearing System (Çek Takas Sistemi) operated by Interbank Check Clearance House (Bankalararası Takas Odaları Merkezi)  
  • Garanti Bonus Cards Clearing System (TakasNet Sistemi) operated by Garanti Ödeme Sistemleri A.Ş. (GÖSAŞ)  
  • Domestic Clearing and Settlement System (Yurtiçi Takas ve Hesaplaşma Sistemi) operated by Interbank Card Center (Bankalararası Kart Merkezi A.Ş. (BKM))

The Central Bank has appointed the following as "securities clearing systems" under the Payment Law and granted operating licenses to their operators:

  • Central Dematerialized System (Merkezi Kaydi Sistem) operated by Central Registry Agency (Merkezi Kayıt Kuruluşu A.Ş. (MKK))  
  • Debt Securities Market Clearing and Settlement System (Borçlanma Araçları Piyasası Takas Sistemi) operated by Istanbul Settlement and Custody Bank (İstanbul Takas ve Saklama Bankası A.Ş. (Takasbank))

Payment service providers

The BRSA has granted operating licenses to:

  • BPN Ödeme Kuruluşu A.Ş.  
  • Vizyon Tahsilat Sistemleri ve Ödeme Hizmetleri A.Ş.  
  • Gönderal Ödeme Hizmetleri A.Ş.  
  • UPT Ödeme Hizmetleri A.Ş.  
  • N Kolay Ödeme Kuruluşu A.Ş.

Electronic money institutions

The BRSA has granted operating licenses to:

  • Cemete Elektronik Para ve Ödeme Hizmetleri A.Ş.  
  • Turk Elektronik Para A.Ş.

Conclusion

The payment and electronic money services industry is a newly regulated market in Turkey. Now that the regulators have started issuing licenses to operators and service providers, the industry is expected to grow quickly over the next few years.