Fintech Market Overview

This article does not constitute legal advice.

Payment services in Portugal

Fintech Software

The main legal and regulatory fintech concerns are those related to payment services and e-money-related activities, as well as crowdfunding platforms and cryptoassets. The two current main categories of fintech companies are payment services institutions and e-money issuers, both of which are regulated under Decree-Law No. 91/2018 of 12 November 2018, enacting the Payment Services and E-Money Legal Framework (PSEMLF), which transposed Directive (EU) 2015/2366 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 (PSD II) to the Portuguese legal framework. The PSEMLF also created the necessary regulation for third-party providers such as payment initiation service providers (PISP) and account information service providers (AISP) to enter the Portuguese market. Crowdfunding platforms are regulated by Law No. 102/2015 of 24 August 2015 and Law No. 3/2018 of 9 February 2018, as well as by the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM) Regulation 1/2016.1

The PSEMLF sets out the applicable rules and requirements for the incorporation and licensing of payment institutions and e-money issuers as well as PISPs and AISPs, all being subject to the BoP's supervision. To that effect, specific mandatory legal documentation must be filed with the BoP, including draft by-laws, business plan, share capital commitment, corporate structure and beneficial ownership, the managers' identification and fit and proper documentation, as well as corporate governance and internal compliance models and procedures. The minimum statutory share capital requirement currently applicable to payment institutions ranges from a minimum of €20,000 to €125,000 (depending on the type of services provided) and a minimum of €350,000 for e-money institutions. PISPs must have a minimum statutory share capital of €50,000 and AISPs are required to acquire an insurance policy or other similar guarantee scheme covering their activity in the Portuguese territory in the case of a breach or unauthorised access to data.1

All marketing and advertising carried out by these entities must abide by the general rules applicable to marketing and advertising by banks and other financial institutions. This means that, among other requirements, all marketing and advertisement products and materials must clearly identify the offering or advertising entity, while also ensuring that the main features and conditions of the marketed products or services are easily understood by targeted consumers.1

The PSEMLF provides for an extensive list of products and services that may only be offered by payment or e-money institutions, as well as PISPs or AISPs. This means that, in practice, considering the nature and business model of most fintech companies and the services offered, they will have to qualify as one of these entities under Portuguese law (as an entity with an e-money licence ensures that it can render all services regulated under the PSEMLF, provided that it requests an authorisation to that effect when registering with the BoP), thus having to comply with its regulatory framework.1

Cryptocurrencies in Portugal

Fintech in Portugal

Fintech in other countries

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Portuguese Fintech Lawyers

Denis Polyakov

Denis Polyakov

Comprehensive legal services for businesses on corporate, tax law, cryptocurrency legislation, investment activities

Kristina Berkes

Kristina Berkes

Participation as a lawyer at investment venture funds, leading venture M&A deals in IT, supporting iGaming and business assets

Silvia Calls

Silvia Calls

We work for international SMEs, startups and Telco's

  1. https://thelawreviews.co.uk/title/the-financial-technology-law-review/portugal
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