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Digital markets, funding and payment services

Both payment services providers (i.e., payment and e-money institutions as well as PISPs and AISPs) and crowdfunding platforms – either equity or loan based – are subject to licensing and registry requirements with either the Bank of Portugal or the CMVM, respectively.

Although still in a very preliminary phase, owing to the applicable framework having entered into force recently, crowdfunding schemes are gaining some traction, mostly in the loan-based platforms sector. Further developments may arise in this field as the market develops and market players become more sophisticated and numerous, in which case movements towards securitisation of loan portfolios originating from such platforms may eventually begin to be noticed in the medium to long term.

Notwithstanding, current securitisation law (Decree Law No. 453/99, as amended) defines which entities may qualify as originators of receivables for securitisation purposes and these are limited to the Portuguese state and other public legal persons, credit institutions, financial companies, insurance firms, pension funds and pension fund management companies. However, other legal persons that have their accounts legally certified by an auditor registered with the CMVM for the previous three years may also assign loans for securitisation purposes; this may open the door to crowdfunding entities being able to enter into securitisation and other structured finance transactions, which were traditionally reserved to banks and other incumbents. However, owing to the nature of the entities resorting to crowd-lending platforms for funding, as well as those managing such platforms, we envisage that such a movement towards securitisation may still take some time.