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What is an electronic money institution?


An electronic money institution is a company whose business it is to issue electronic money. This definition is based on section 1:1 of the Dutch Financial Supervision Act (Wet op het financeel toezicht – Wft). Only legal persons can apply to be authorised as an electronic money institution.

Published: 18 March 2022

Electronic money

Electronic money represents a monetary value that is stored electronically or magnetically. An electronic money institution stores the monetary value in a central accounting system (the enterprise's server), or it may be stored on an electronic carrier like a chip. This monetary value can then be used to make payments at other parties than the one that issued the electronic money.

Examples of electronic money include plastic gift vouchers that can be used to pay in shops and webshops.

Three categories of electronic money institution

There are three categories of electronic money institution.

  1. Electronic money institutions: Enterprises holding a licence issued by DNB specifically for issuing electronic money.

  2. Exempt electronic money institutions: enterprises exempt from the licence requirement under the Exemption Regulation of the Wft (Vrijstellingsregeling Wft). An exempted electronic money institution is not permitted to start issuing electronic money until DNB has entered the enterprise as exempted electronic money institution in the public register.

  3. Banks: banks are authorised to act as electronic money institutions based on their authorisation to pursue the business of a credit institution, to the extent permitted under their licence. They are excepted from the licence requirement for electronic money institutions.


Exempted electronic money institutions and excepted banks do not require a licence from DNB; other electronic money institutions do.

European passport

Authorisation permits electronic money institutions to pursue their activities in all countries of the European Economic Area. This is known as the single licence or European passporting arrangement. If electronic money institutions plan to expand their activities to other member states, they are required to notify the supervisory authorities of the member state where they have their registered offices. The supervisory authorities of their member state of origin will notify the supervisory authorities of the member state where they intend to launch their activities. Exempted electronic money institutions are not permitted to use the European passport and are not permitted to expand their activities outside the Netherlands.