PayWise gets green light to issue e-money

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

FILE PHOTO: Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago –

THE Central Bank issued a provisional registration to PayWise Ltd to become an electronic money (e-money) issuer on Wednesday.

E-money is an electronic store of monetary value on a technological device (including mobile phones) that may be widely used for making payments to entities other than the e-money issuer.

The device acts as a prepaid bearer instrument which does not necessarily involve bank accounts in transactions.

E-money can be used for payment transactions with or without bank accounts. Examples of e-money include pre-paid cards or web-based services, such as PayPal.

In a statement, the bank said the provisional registration authorises PayWise to issue e-money in TT from September 1.

Under the terms of the provisional registration, PayWise will be allowed to enlist new customers in a controlled environment monitored by the Central Bank.

PayWise is a company incorporated in TT in 2013. The company was registered as a payment service provider since 2019 by the Central Bank. On its website, the company said its mission is to “provide alternative means of payments that are easy to use, convenient and secure.”

PayWise will be the first company, apart from banks and non-bank financial institutions, authorised to issue e-money domestically. This is allowed for under Section 17(4) of the Financial Institutions Act.

Entities allowed to apply to become e-money issuers include money remitters registered with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and credit unions. A money remitter is a payment service provider that accepts funds from a payer for the purpose of making them available to a payee, without necessarily maintaining an account relationship with the payer or payee.

Information on the Central Bank’s website showed that entities applying to become e-money issuers must comply with all anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing regulations of the FIU.

The bank also states that e-money issuers in TT are prohibited from doing certain things. These include issuing or allowing joint accounts and only issuing e-money in TT currency.