The table below sets out a summary of the relative levels of European regulation that currently apply to banks, firms issuing e-money and payment services institutions. The distinction between these levels of regulation is likely to be of interest to fintech companies developing new payment methods and we also note that the European payment services regime is likely to change (and extend in scope) in the next couple of years.

At the top of the table are the more onerous regulations. Once authorised, a bank does not need to obtain a separate payment services or e-money licence, although if it does carry out such activities, it will need to comply with the appropriate conduct of business rules. Similarly, a fintech company issuing e-money does not need a separate payment services licence if it offers payment services, but will need to comply with the payment services conduct of business rules if it does so.

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