how to obtain a safeguarding account for your emi & pi

How to Obtain a Safeguarding Account for Your EMI & PI?

Written by Eghosa Osemwegie

Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) and Payment Institutions (PIs) play critical roles in facilitating digital transactions and delivering innovative financial services in today’s fast-changing financial landscape. With increased reliance on these institutions, it is critical to preserve customer funds and ensure their safety in the case of insolvency or operational difficulties. This is where safeguarding accounts come in.

Throughout this blog post, we will go over the processes required to open a safeguarding account for your EMI or PI, as well as the compliance requirements and benefits it provides. By following these principles, you can ensure the safety and security of your customers’ funds while staying in financial industry regulatory compliance. However, before we begin the process of setting up a safeguarding account for your EMI or PI, let us first explain what a safeguarding account is.

What is Safeguarding Account?

A safeguarding account is like a special bank account that EMIs (Electronic Money Institutions) and PIs (Payment Institutions) use to protect their customers’ money. It’s a way of keeping customer funds separate from the institution’s own money. Think of it as putting your money in a locked box, where it stays safe and separate from the institution’s other funds.

The goal of a safeguarding account is to ensure that the customer’s money is secured even if the EMI or PI runs into financial difficulties or goes out of business. It serves as a safety net, providing consumers with the assurance that their funds are secure and can be promptly restored to them if needed. 

Furthermore, securing accounts is a regulatory requirement for EMIs and PIs to improve financial security and protect customers’ interests. These institutions deal with enormous amounts of consumer funds, therefore it is critical to keep customer funds separate from the institution’s own finances. EMIs and PIs ensure that businesses may perform their obligations to consumers while also mitigating the danger of misusing or mishandling client funds by ring-fencing customer funds in protecting accounts. Got it?

Steps to Obtain a Safeguarding Account

By now, you must have understood what a safeguarding account is. So now let’s take it further. There are several steps to opening a safeguarding account for your EMI or PI, below they are looked into closely.

Step One:  Hire the Services of a Corporate Service Provider

Before proceeding with the process of obtaining a safeguarding account for your electronic money institution or payment institution, consider hiring a reputable corporate service provider or financial consultant. These professionals have expertise in navigating the complexities of setting up safeguarding accounts and can provide valuable guidance throughout the process.

Look for experienced providers who have a track record of assisting banks in obtaining safeguarding accounts. Now, that you are here, you are at the right place. Here at FirmEU, we specialize in assisting EMIs and PIs in obtaining safeguarding accounts. We have extensive connections with the best financial institutions with which you would like to partner with. Also, we can help you open your safeguarding account remotely. This means you won’t have to leave your office. Focus on other elements of your business while we manage the opening of your safeguarding account. Contact us today for more info.

Step Two: Research and Select a Reputable Banking Institution

Choosing the right banking institution to hold your safeguarding account is a critical step in the safeguarding account opening process. Identify potential banking partners that offer safeguarding account services and understand their terms, fees, and requirements. Ensure that the chosen bank complies with relevant financial regulations and holds appropriate licenses to offer safeguarding account services.

Consider seeking feedback from other EMIs, PIs, or financial professionals about their experiences with different banking institutions. Let us clearly state here that if your corporate service provider suggests a bank to you, kindly follow as they’ve said as they have your best interest at heart, so they know what is best.

Step Three: Meet the Bank’s Requirements

Once you’ve selected a preferred banking institution, initiate communication and prepare to meet their requirements for opening a safeguarding account. Here are some aspects of this step:

  • Contact the Bank: Reach out to the bank’s representative or relationship manager responsible for handling safeguarding accounts.
  • Inquire About the Process: Seek clarification on the documents and information needed to open a safeguarding account. Understand any specific compliance criteria that must be met.
  • Prepare the Necessary Documentation: Gather all required documents, which may include legal certificates, licenses, company incorporation details, and compliance statements.
  • Demonstrate Regulatory Compliance: Ensure that your EMI or PI is compliant with all applicable financial regulations and provide evidence of such compliance to the bank.

Step Four: Implement the Safeguarding Account

Once the bank has approved your application and all requirements are met, you can proceed to implement the safeguarding account. Here is what we mean: 

  • Transfer Funds into the Account: Deposit the required initial funds into the safeguarding account, following the bank’s instructions.
  • Set up Access Controls: Establish appropriate access controls and permissions for the safeguarding account to ensure that only authorized personnel can manage and monitor it.
  • Monitor and Reconcile Regularly: Continuously monitor the safeguarding account and reconcile customer funds to maintain accuracy and compliance.

Maintaining Compliance with Safeguarding Account Regulations

Once you have obtained a safeguarding account for your EMI or PI, it is essential to ensure ongoing compliance with safeguarding account regulations. Let us break this down for you to understand:

  • Regular account monitoring and reconciliation
  • Reporting obligations and deadlines
  • Audits and inspections

Regular Account Monitoring and Reconciliation

  • Daily Monitoring: Establish a robust monitoring system to keep track of the funds in your safeguarding account on a daily basis. This helps detect any discrepancies or unauthorized transactions promptly.
  • Reconciliation Processes: Implement regular reconciliations between your internal records, transaction data, and the balances in the safeguarding account. This ensures accurate reporting and identifies any discrepancies that need to be addressed.
  • Segregation of Duties: Maintain separation of duties within your organization to avoid conflicts of interest and prevent unauthorized access to the safeguarding account. Clearly define roles and responsibilities for individuals involved in managing and monitoring the account.

Reporting Obligations and Deadlines

  • Regulatory Reporting: Familiarize yourself with the specific reporting requirements outlined by the regulatory authorities overseeing your EMI or PI operations. These may include periodic reports on the status of the safeguarding account, fund movements, and compliance with relevant regulations.
  • Timely Reporting: Ensure timely submission of the required reports within the prescribed deadlines. Failure to comply with reporting obligations may result in penalties or regulatory actions.
  • Record-Keeping: Maintain accurate and comprehensive records of all transactions, reconciliations, reports, and other relevant documentation related to the safeguarding account. These records should be readily available for audits and regulatory inspections.

Audits and Inspections

  • Internal Audits: Conduct regular internal audits to assess the effectiveness of your safeguarding account processes and controls. This helps identify any weaknesses or areas for improvement and ensures compliance with internal policies and regulatory requirements. A way to save cost and be more effective in this is to outsource the auditing process.
  • External Audits: Prepare for external audits by regulatory bodies or independent auditors. These audits are conducted to assess your institution’s compliance with safeguarding account regulations and overall financial integrity.
  • Regulatory Inspections: Be prepared for inspections by regulatory authorities that oversee EMIs or PIs. Inspections aim to ensure adherence to safeguarding account regulations and compliance with other relevant regulations governing your institution’s operations.

Benefits of Having a Safeguarding Account

Having a safeguarding account for your EMI or PI offers several significant benefits. Let’s explore some of the key advantages:

Protecting Customer Funds

The primary benefit of a safeguarding account is the protection it provides to customer funds. By keeping customer funds separate from the institution’s own assets, the account ensures that even in the event of insolvency or operational disruptions, customer funds remain untouched and readily available for return or transfer. This protection enhances customer confidence and trust in your institution’s financial stability.

Enhancing Credibility and Trustworthiness

Operating with a safeguarding account demonstrates a commitment to financial security, regulatory compliance, and responsible business practices. This commitment enhances your institution’s credibility and fosters trust among customers, partners, and regulatory authorities. It differentiates your EMI or PI from competitors and positions you as a reliable and trustworthy financial service provider.

Meeting Regulatory Requirements

Safeguarding accounts is often a regulatory requirement for EMIs and PIs. By establishing and maintaining a safeguarding account, you fulfill regulatory obligations and demonstrate compliance with financial regulations and directives. This proactive approach to regulatory compliance helps avoid penalties, legal issues, and reputational damage that could arise from non-compliance.

Mitigating Operational Risks

By ring-fencing customer funds in a safeguarding account, you mitigate operational risks associated with managing and handling large volumes of customer funds. The account provides a clear separation between customer funds and the institution’s own assets, reducing the risk of misappropriation, fraud, or financial mismanagement. This promotes financial stability and safeguards the interests of both customers and your institution.


Here are some frequently asked questions:

Can a Safeguarding Account be Used for Other Purposes, Such as Investment?

No, safeguarding accounts are intended solely for the protection of customer funds. They should not be used for investment or any other purpose unrelated to safeguarding customer funds.

Can an EMI or PI Use the Funds in a Safeguarding Account for Their Own Operations?

No, funds held in a safeguarding account are strictly segregated from the institution’s own funds. These funds must only be used for the purpose of returning or transferring customer funds as per regulatory requirements.

What Happens if an EMI or PI Fails to Comply with Safeguarding Account Regulations?

Non-compliance with safeguarding account regulations can result in penalties, fines, or regulatory actions. It may also lead to reputational damage and loss of customer trust. It is crucial for EMIs and PIs to prioritize compliance to maintain regulatory compliance and financial integrity.

How Often Should Safeguarding Accounts Be Monitored?

Safeguarding accounts should be monitored on a daily basis to ensure the security and accuracy of customer funds. Regular monitoring helps detect any discrepancies, unauthorized transactions, or potential issues promptly.

Are Safeguarding Accounts a Regulatory Requirement?

Yes, safeguarding accounts are often a regulatory requirement for EMIs and PIs. Regulatory authorities impose these requirements to safeguard customer funds, maintain financial stability, and ensure compliance with regulatory standards.

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