MSB financial licence in Canada

10th of May, 2022

It has been possible to obtain a Canadian MSB licence since 2020. Canada is one of the most highly developed countries in the world and it is the 14th largest country in terms of GDP, the 9th largest economy in the world.

Canada's advantages:

  • political stability;
  • a high level of economic freedom;
  • transparent and open market;
  • highly qualified personnel;
  • a favourable tax regime;
  • a sound legal system.

Canada is valued for its extensive banking system, which provides an attractive environment for the development of the financial business sector. For example, payment systems such as TRANSFERWISE, PAYSEND, WIREXEND, PAXUM and others have chosen Canada and have obtained an MSB (Money Service Business) licence.

What is a Canadian Money Service Business licence?

It is a non-banking financial institution that allows certain financial activities. An MSB in Canada is the equivalent of a British EMI.

Businesses licensed with an MSB in Canada are allowed to carry out the following activities:

  1. development of its own payment system;
  2. currency exchange and international transfers;
  3. money transfers for both individuals and legal entities within a holding company with a complex corporate structure;
  4. trading in virtual currencies;
  5. E-commerce, Merchant;
  6. cryptocurrency exchange services.


How do I get an MSB licence?

FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) is responsible for issuing licences and document verification. Only a Canadian company can obtain a Canada Money Service Business licence for a payment system. It takes an average of 6-8 months to register a company and obtain a license.

There is an approved package of documents that applicants must submit in order to obtain an MSB license. It includes:

  1. a ready-made Due Dilligence on all company members;
  2. personal questionnaires of the company's managing staff and the compliance officer;
  3. detailed business plan;
  4. address and other information relating to the company's office;
  5. For each director, shareholder and beneficial owner (UBO), a colour passport scan
  6. Utility bill/reference letter from bank not older than 3 months in English;
  7. AML procedures.

Canada has an anti-money laundering law (PCM TFA) that oversees the activities of companies, so businesses must follow the commitments they have made. Although, the regulator's requirements are quite lenient when comparing Canada to other jurisdictions.

Companies with an MSB licence are required to:

  1. comply with AML/CTF requirements;
  2. hire a compliance officer to monitor compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and develop compliance procedures;
  3. monitor risks, implement risk mitigation strategies, and document all processes accordingly; 
  4. carry out regular training for employees, dealers, agents who represent the company with MSB status;
  5. Adhere to KYC requirements and customer identification policies;
  6. Keep records and reports.


A ready-made MSB licence in Canada


Intelligent Solution Group recommends looking at a ready-made MSB licence in Canada.

You will be interested in our offer because:

  1. all compliance procedures are already prescribed: AML and KYC;
  2. the timeframe for reissuing the ready-made licence is up to 2 months, which is considerably less than the initial processing;
  3. the legal entity is registered;
  4. the company is branded, the name can be changed if necessary;
  5. costs are low compared to EMI in the UK;
  6. an LEI code is issued;
  7. Remote re-registration is possible.

There are also a number of additional services that our company provides after the MSB financial licence is re-issued:

  • to carry out SOFT integration; 
  • assist with account opening and connection to SWIFT.

Seeking professional help can help you reduce risk and save time.