The National Payment Systems Act looks to create an infrastructural framework that will give the country adequate finance to covert their cash into more effective methods of digital payments while promoting interconnectivity. The new regulations set forth will give clear guidelines to prospective operators by pointing out the different categories of payment service providers, how to apply for licenses, the substance requirements and reporting formalities in need of compliance, conditions under which such a license can be revoked, minimal capital requirements for different payment service providers, and much more.
As per the new regulations any corporate entity can apply to the central bank for authorization for payments, clearing, or settlement systems. However, a bank can only operate a payment, clearing, or settlement system through a subsidiary.
Application procedure for a license
Applications for payment service licenses are required to be followed by documents and information as per the Central bank requirements alongside payment of a non-refundable fee. Such documents can be authenticated hard copies or electronically signed soft copies (English). Upon 30 days of receiving the application, the central bank notifies the applicant of the completion status of their application.
Licensees must have Mauritius as their principal place of business while staffing and operating costs should coincide with their business complexity. There must be a given number of fully qualified full-time officers, as well as transaction monitoring systems on anti-money laundering, and combatting the financing of terrorism and proliferation (AML/CFT).
A license can be revoked after a 30-day notice period pending any action being taken. Licensee will within 14 days make written representations to BoM. Such regulations specify whether an authorization/license is revoked, suspended, or surrendered.
Additional conditions on issuing a license for electronic money
Any licensee for electronic money, whether a bank or payment service provider must not also offer credit services on the same. The money is separately held in a trust account where traceability of the funds is assured and reconciliation mechanisms exist.
Capital requirements on various categories are also specified as per the new regulations, in addition to stringent financial reporting requirements. Reports should be presented within a month upon request of the central bank.
The National Payment Systems Act 2018 came into effect on 31 January 2019 creating a new framework for the regulation, oversight, and supervision of payment systems across the country. the Bank of Mauritius just issued new regulations targeting National Payment Service providers that were officially published by the 31st May 2021 Government Gazette, after which they kicked in on 1 June 2021.