Money Transmission Services
Money Transmission Services can be carried on in or from within Belize as an International Financial Service. Any person or corporate entity who intends to provide such international services in or from within Belize must apply to the Director General of the Commission for a license in accordance with the regulations under the International Financial Services Commission Act Chapter 272 of the Laws of Belize.
A proper “due diligence” on the application is conducted by the License Registered Agent before forwarding it to the Director General of the Commission. Any person or corporate entity who has management with the requisite knowledge and expertise of the business to be carried on and has at least one director resident in Belize, or any person designated as fit and proper person for this purpose by the Commission may qualify for such a license. A company that carries on Money Transmission Services in or from within Belize pays no taxes on profits so long as all its services are provided outside of Belize.
What is Money Transmission Services?
Money transmitters are business-entities authorized by local government to provide currency transfers and conversion. Transmitters are regulated by local authorities and are subject to strict legislative scrutiny and guidelines. They work by accepting a standard transfer fee for sending money from one geographic location to another. In many cases a currency conversion is necessary during transfer for which the business will charge an additional fee. Usually transmitters can send money in a matter of minutes or within a 24 hour period.
The importance of money transmitter businesses is the rapidity at which they can send money from one location to another. Consumers generally use transmitter services for one of two reasons: sending money abroad to family or friends, or to send money to a buyer or employee for an online purchase or service. A popular company used for international money transmission is Western Union.
There are two types of money transmitters: online and offline. Online businesses can be further categorized into two subgroups: those which are strictly transmitters (such as PayPal and Money Gram) and banks who along with their standard services offer transmission options. Online transmitters function through a membership program where every client has a unique and personalized online account that is linked to at least one bank account. Upon authorization from the client, transmitters are able to withdraw specific amounts of money from a registered bank account and transfer it to the account of another registered client. Offline transmitters (local currency exchange branches) do not require membership and transfer money after accepting cash or cashier / traveller’s checks.
Types of Money Transmitters
Today, many individuals use money transmission businesses to send money to their friends, family and employees. Money transmission businesses are internationally spread and large companies like Western Union and PayPal provide services to over 200 countries worldwide. Several retail sites (eBay) use PayPal services to transfer money between buyers and sellers after a purchase of service has been received.