Partnership

Payscout partners with Grant Thornton to secure EU financial institution license

Grant Thornton has provided advisory and strategic services to guide the European expansion of Payscout Inc., and have been pivotal to assist in obtaining approval of Payscout’s Financial Institution (FI) license in the European Union, enabling the global payment processing provider to function as a Financial Institution across the entire European Economic Area.

Payscout Inc., a leading global payment processing provider, has been issued a Financial Institution (FI) license by the Malta Financial Services Authority. The process was facilitated by Grant Thornton Malta, pioneers in the local fintech industry.

The FI License permits Payscout to operate as a payment facilitator with possibility to expand and passport its operations throughout the EU, enabling the firm to, among other things, execute transactions as well as issue and acquire payment instruments.

“Obtaining our Financial Institution License in the EU enhances our ability to empower entrepreneurs across the world,” said Payscout EU Managing Director, Mike Norton, who oversees the company’s European expansion and Go Global Now initiative. “Grant Thornton has been a key ally in facilitating both our European expansion and the acquisition of our FI license. We’re thrilled to call them a partner in our continued growth and expansion.”

Covering six continents and connecting merchants to consumers via credit, debit, ATM, and alternative payment networks, Payscout has US locations in Los Angeles, CA, Ramsey, NJ, and Douglasville, GA, with international locations in Brazil, China, and Malta. Payscout has been recognised by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States for three consecutive years and maintains global partnerships with VISA, Bank of America, MasterCard, China Union Pay, Deutsche Bank, First Data, and more.

Payscout’s Vision is to become the thought-leading and fastest-growing global payment processing provider in the world. The emergence of Payscout EU and the strategic expansion that the Malta team is initiating fulfill both the thought-leading and fastest-growing components of the Vision.

Grant Thornton Malta is extremely pleased with the success of Payscout in Malta to date, as well as the role it played in the licensing application process. Since Payscout set up offices in Malta in 2016, the Grant Thornton’s advisory and regulatory team has provided the necessary support and advice on Malta’s financial services legislation, application process, as well as the necessary liaising with the MFSA, local banks, relevant government departments and other third party service providers.

Malta is an ideal jurisdiction in which to set up a financial institution. Malta’s and the EU’s legislative infrastructure, particularly the Payment Services Directive, provide a perfect base for financial institutions to operate within the European market, enjoying a professional, practical safe and cost effective environment. Amongst other benefits, a licensed Maltese financial institution planning to expand its operations into other European states can seek to passport its licence to operate in any country of the European Union.

Several hundred finance related, gaming and tech companies have set-up operations on the island requiring various services ranging from fund and asset managers, insurance companies, forex traders, payment service providers and electronic money institutions as well as treasury and factoring operations. This has also paved the path for the island to build a strong understanding of the Fintech industry.

Wayne Pisani, Grant Thornton Partner for Tax and Regulatory strongly believes in the prospects that fintech presents for Malta. “A Fintech ecosystem in Malta could create valuable synergies between the growing ICT and financial service providers. Malta could also be used as a pilot test bed for a Fintech ecosystem – such as Blockchain - prior to launching into the global market.”

Malta is also keen to attract start-ups and foreign players to base their innovation labs on the island. Complemented by other factors, such as a relatively cheap cost base, a highly attractive financial services jurisdiction, an excellent quality of life and safe environment, proficiency in the English language, and other business-friendly initiatives undertaken by the authorities during the last decade, Malta can surely position itself as Europe’s Fintech platform.

“The application of modern technology to traditional financial services is having far-reaching effect on the way businesses operate and the way people live their daily lives, as well as leading to the creation of a whole new industry sector.” commented Wayne Pisani. “The fact that the new technologies emerged in the wake of the global financial crisis, the advent of Brexit, only adds to their impact. These challenges and market shifts are bringing about opportunities for Malta. We have people with a strong technology background and people with the financial services skills and knowledge to merge these worlds, carving out the necessary efficiencies to dovetail the continued evolution of financial services mandated by user demand. This is the ideal blend to service and incubate Fintech companies. Malta is a natural home for this industry.”