Malta, the ideal EU domicile for payment services

Dr. Maria Chetcuti Cauchi | 10 Mar 2017


Finance Malta Chairman, Kenneth Farrugia, has emphasised Malta’s potential and competitiveness as an EU domicile for payments. Indeed, Malta is swiftly becoming a favourite among payment services providers and electronic money institutions. Slowly but surely, Malta is paving its road towards becoming a European Hub for the Fintech industry. When considering that Malta is the smallest Member State in the European Union, one asks, how did the smallest island nation in Europe manage to hone such success?

Pioneers in iGaming Legislation

Malta’s enactment of the fully EU approved Remote Gaming Regulations back in 2004 sparked off Malta’s success, not only as an EU domicile for payments, but also as a financial services centre in the Mediterranean. Malta was the first European member state to legislate on remote gaming, allowing online operators to operate anywhere in the world in a safe and regulated manner. This approach allowed the gaming enterprises to grow in a business-friendly, yet safe environment, and gives Malta an edge over competing jurisdictions as by now it has already garnered 13 years of experience in the remote gaming industry, and is now considered a tried and true jurisdiction in the world amongst gaming companies.

From a logistics point of view, Malta has fostered the perfect environment for the growth of gaming companies and now has over 250 licensed companies domiciled on its shores. This has naturally led a number of payment services provides to follow suit. Malta vaunts a stable political scene, an economy that continues to register growth, a business-friendly culture with an advantageous gaming tax regime and a multi-lingual English speaking workforce. These benefits are coupled with a high standard of living and the flair of a calm Mediterranean lifestyle. The culmination of these factors makes Malta an ideal destination for corporate relocation of iGaming, e-money and payment companies.

A successful Financial Services Industry

Malta’s success as a European hub for financial services has also contributed substantially to the growth of payment service providers in Malta.

The Maltese financial services sector proved its tenacity and buoyancy when it managed to register growth during and after times of economic crisis, proving once again Malta’s worth as a centre of commercial excellence.

Once again, a sound regulatory framework, coupled with a regulator that advocates and imposes high standards of compliance while maintaining a flexible approach proved to be two of the main ingredients for Malta’s success in this industry.

Payment Services Providers as well as E-Money Institutions fall under the wider cap of the Fintech industry. Fintech, a relatively new niche in Malta which is taking the international financial services sector by storm, merges the traditional sector of financial services with all the benefits of technology. As Malta continues to make leaps in the Financial Services sector and prepares itself embrace the innovations brought forth by the revolution of Fintech industry, the number of payment services providers and e-money institutions is ever on the rise.



Benefits of Malta Payment Services Providers

Malta licensed payment services providers benefit from EU passporting which allows them to operate in any EU member state. Moreover, providers will only be taxed at an effective corporate of 5%. As highly qualified persons, they will also benefit from Malta’s Highly Qualified persons Rules which will allow them to benefit from a special tax status, provided they satisfy a number of conditions.

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