Licensing mandatory under Act: RBF to payment service providers

Effective 30 September, only licensed persons can provide a payment service or operate the payment system, Fiji’s Central Bank says.

In a statement, the Reserve Bank of Fiji which will issue the license stated that the licensing requirement comes after the National Payment System Act 2021 came into effect at September end of this year.

Section 13(1) of the act provides that “any person seeking to provide a payment service or operate a payment system must apply in writing to the Reserve Bank for a license to provide the payment service or operate the payment system.”

The RBF also clarifies that in commencing the initial licensing phase as required under the Act and the Regulations, licensing of payment service providers is activity-based, accorded to one or more activities as outlined in the Act and the Regulations.

Entities conducting e-money issuance, merchant acquiring, domestic money transfer, cross-border money transfer, and account issuance services should apply for a payment service provider license and will be subject to regulatory oversight by the RBF.

They are however certain payment service entities that are exempted from being licensed under the act in accordance with Section 15(7) including commercial banks licensed under the Banking Act 1995; restricted foreign exchange dealers licensed under the Exchange Control Act 1985; ∙ entities that issue single purpose payment instruments or whose payment instrument can be used within its group of companies; entities that operate a closed loop merchant acquiring service; and fuel card issuers. These entities however would still be required to comply with oversight requirements as deemed appropriate by the Reserve Bank, in compliance with Section 15(8) of the Act.

The RBF says it is also standing by to provide advice to entities that may be wishing to conduct such business in Fiji but may not be clear with the requirement to be licensed or exempted under the act.

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