In a recently published note, the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) recalls compliance with the standards governing of electronic money institutions opening. It thus warns those who try to carry out this activity underground with sanctions envisaged.
The Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) is committed to put order in the credit institutions opening in the Community area of WAEMU, the issuing institution shall specify, in detail, the rules that apply to actors who wish to operate in electronic money. First, the central bank mentions that the activities of electronic money are supervised by Instruction n°008-05-2015 of 21 May 2015, governing the terms and conditions for carrying out the activities of electronic money issuers in UMOA member states.
It specifies that banks and payment financial institutions may issue electronic money, subject to informing the Central Bank, at least two (2) months before the launch of their activities. For other structures or institutions (non-banking actors or decentralised financial systems), the exercise of the activity of electronic money is subject to the obtaining of an authorisation(e) provided by the BCEAO. The approval or authorization is provided, based on the examination of the file submitted by the applicant, in accordance with the provisions of Article 8 of the abovementioned Instruction No. 008-05-2015.
The purpose of this guide is to facilitate the understanding of the approval and authorisation process, recalling the key elements of the conditions for carrying out these activities, as well as the constituent elements of the file to be submitted to the Central Bank.
The electronic money solution of the institution requesting registration must meet the requirements set out in Article 7 of Instruction No. 008-05-2015 of 21 May 2015 governing the terms and conditions for carrying out the activities of electronic money issuers in the WAEMU.
However, it should be clarified that institutions provider electronic money are not authorised to provide credit services to their customers in any form whatsoever, pay interest on funds received in exchange for issued electronic money units. Finally, regarding the minimum share capital or minimum deposit requirements, the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) specify that the minimum share capital of an electronic money institution is FCFA 300 million. It must be fully subscribed and fully paid up in cash before approval is granted.