Payment intermediary service (“PIS”) means an intermediary activity for connecting, transmitting and processing e-data on payment transactions between payment service providers and users. Institutions that are allowed to provide PIS include the following: 

(i) Commercial banks, branches of foreign banks that are permitted to provide digital wallets; and 

(ii) Non-bank Institutions (“PIS Provider(s)”) are granted a Payment Intermediary Service Provision License (“PISP License“) by the State Bank of Vietnam (“SBV”). 

In this article, we will provide an overview of the PISP License and the procedures for PIS Provider to obtain the PISP License.

1. Types of PIS?

(a) Electronic payment infrastructure provision service 

Electronic payment infrastructure provision services include the following:

(i) Financial switching service:

Financial switching service is a service providing technical infrastructure to connect, transmit and process electronic data to make payment transactions via ATM, POS, Internet, mobile phone and other electronic transaction channels among payment services providers and/or among PIS Providers;

(ii) Electronic clearing service:

Electronic clearing service is a service providing technical infrastructure to receive, compare payment data and calculate the results of receivable and payable amounts of money after clearing among members for the payments settlement between the related parties;

(iii) Electronic payment gateway service:

Electronic payment gateway service is a service providing technical infrastructure for the connection between the payment acceptance units and banks to assist customers in payments in e-commerce transactions, electronic bill payments and other electronic payments.

(b) Support service for payment service:

Support service for payment service include the following:

(i) Support service of cash collection and cash payment: 

It means a service assisting banks in cash collection and cash payment services for customers owning payment accounts, bank cards at the banks through the receiving, processing and sending electronic data messages and calculating results of cash collection and cash payment; cancelling cash collection and cash payment for the payments settlement between the related parties;

(ii) Support service for electronic fund transfer:

It means a service assisting in the reception, transmission and processing of data in the electronic fund transfer of banks or mandated by banks;

(iii) Digital wallet service:

It means a service that provides a customer with a electronic identity account created by a PIS Provider on an information carrier (such as electronic chip, mobile phone sim, computer, etc.) that enables the customer to store a sum of money in the form of deposit equivalent to the sum of money transferred from the customer’s payment account at a bank to a secured payment account of the digital wallet service provider at the ratio of 1:1.

(c) Other payment intermediary services as stipulated by the SBV

2. What are conditions for obtaining the PISP License?

In order to obtain a PISP License, the PIS Provider is required to fulfill the following conditions:

(1) Having a valid Incorporated Certificate or Enterprise Registration Certificate;

(2) Having an Project of providing PIS (“Project”) approved by a competent authority of the PIS Provider in accordance with its Charter, which must include the required contents as specified in Decree 101;

(3) Having at least 50 billion VND of charter capital;

(4) Having personnel who meet the required qualifications:

– For the legal representative, General Director/Director: possessing at least a bachelor’s degree or having a minimum of 3 years of direct work experience in one of the fields of business management, economics, finance, banking, or law.

– For Deputy General Director/Deputy Director and key personnel responsible for the Project implementation (including Heads of Departments or equivalents, and technical personnel): possessing at least a college degree in one of the fields of economics, finance, banking, information technology, or in the specialized field they are in charge of.

3. Procedures for obtaining PISP License

(a) What is included in the application dossier for a PISP License?

The dossier for obtaining for a PISP License includes:

a) The written application according to the form provided by the SBV;

b) The Meeting Minutes or Resolution of Members’ Council/Board of directors/General Meeting of Shareholders approving the Project;

c) The Project as mentioned in Section 2.(2);

d) The description of technical solution and the written acceptance of technical experiment with another institution that the PIS Provider collaborates with;

dd) The documents about personnel of individuals mentioned in Section 2.(4) above include: the curriculum vitae, the qualifications proving their capability and proficiency (the certified true copy or the copy extracted from the master register or the copy enclosed with the original for comparison).

e) The valid Incorporated Certificate or Enterprise Registration Certificate, and the Charter of the PIS Provider (the certified true copy or the copy extracted from the master register or the copy enclosed with the original for comparison).

(b) How will the application dossier for a PISP License be proceed?

Step 1: The PIS Provider applying for a PISP License shall submit 05 sets of dossiers, by post or directly, to the SBV

Step 2: The SBV shall proceed to examine the dossiers to assess whether the PIS Provider meets the conditions as stipulated.

Step 3: Within 60 days from the date of receiving the valid dossier, the SBV shall appraise and issue the PISP License or the written refusal to issue the license and specify the reasons.

Step 4: The PIS Provider granted a PISP License must pay the license fees as stipulated by the law.

(c) How much is the PISP License application fee?

The application fee is VND 10 million per PISP license for the first time and VND 5 million for a reissued one.

(d) How long is the validity period of PISP License?

The PISP License is valid for 10 years from the date of issuance.

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