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Check to see if you need to register with FINTRAC as a money services business

If you offer certain services to the public, you could be a money services business (MSB) or a foreign money services business (FMSB) and be subject to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.

Answer a few questions to check if you need to register as a money services business (MSB) or a foreign money services business (FMSB) with FINTRAC.

1. Do you offer one or more of the following services to the public?
• Foreign exchange dealing
• Remitting or transmitting funds
• Issuing or redeeming money order or similar negotiable instruments
• Dealing in virtual currency
• Crowdfunding platform services

  • Yes

    2. Do you have a place of business:

    • in Canada
    • outside of Canada

      3. Does your business direct services at persons or entities in Canada?

      • Yes

        4. Does your place of business provide services to clients in Canada?

        • Yes
        • No
      • No
  • No
Detailed explanation of the services

Foreign exchange dealing: includes conducting transactions where you exchange one type of currency for another (for example, exchanging USD for CAD).

Remitting or transmitting funds from one person or entity to another using an electronic funds transfer network or any other method such as Hawala, Hundi, Fei ch'ien, and Chitti. This includes remitting or transmitting funds (as instructed by your clients) carried out by means of a credit/debit card if the beneficiary has an agreement with the payment service provider that permits payment by that means for the provision of goods and services.

Issuing or redeeming money orders, traveller’s cheques or anything similar: your business issues or redeems money orders, travellers' cheques or other similar negotiable instruments. This does not include cashing cheques made out to a particular person or entity.

Dealing in virtual currency: this includes both virtual currency exchange and virtual currency transfer services.

  • Virtual currency exchange services include exchanging:

    • funds for virtual currency,
    • virtual currency for funds, or
    • virtual currency for another virtual currency.
  • Virtual currency transfer services include:

    • transferring virtual currency at the request of a client, or
    • receiving a transfer of virtual currency for remittance to a beneficiary.

Crowdfunding platform services: the provision and maintenance of a crowdfunding platform for use by other persons or entities to raise funds or virtual currency.

Note: FINTRAC is taking the position that persons or entities that provide invoice payment services or payment services for goods and services are engaged in the business of remitting or transmitting funds, or dealing in virtual currency.

  1. A person or entity is providing invoice payment services when they act as an intermediary between a payer and a payee to make payments to invoices, such as those pertaining to utilities, payroll and commission, mortgage and rent, or tuition

    Exception: A person or entity that solely receives payments on behalf of the payee to settle a debt, and does not further transfer the payment instructions to the original payee.

  2. A person or entity is providing payment services for goods or services when:

    • they receive payment instructions and act as an intermediary between a payer purchasing goods or services and a payee supplying goods or services;
    • the payer consents to make the payment for the goods or services through them; and
    • the payee has an agreement with them to have access to the transfers carried out as payment for the goods or services.

    Exceptions:

    • A person or entity that solely accepts a payment for goods or services that they supplied to their own customer.
    • A person or entity that solely provides hardware (for example, a physical payment terminal), and does not offer any other associated payment services.
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