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16 May 2023, 10:03 am | Clarification

Clarification Regarding the Issuing of Virtual or Physical Bank Cards

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) wishes to clarify that issuing virtual or physical payment cards falls within Providing Money Services. Activities that help another person receive a physical or virtual debit card constitute the regulated Financial Service of Arranging and Advising on Money Services under Rule 2.32.1(1) of the General Module of the DFSA’s Rulebook.  This means that firms arranging for or facilitating customers to receive payment cards or access payment apps or advising customers about using a particular Money Services provider, must get authorisation from the DFSA to carry on these activities in or from the DIFC.

Making arrangements for another Person to receive Money Services includes the following activities:

  • introducing a potential user to a Money Services Provider (whether the provider is in the DIFC or outside the DIFC);
  • assisting a potential user to use Money Services, for example by completing application forms and other processes relevant to the transaction; and
  • negotiating terms related to Money Services, including any fees payable to the arranger.

This includes arranging or facilitating the issue of virtual or physical cards for or on behalf of banks or other financial institutions outside the DIFC.

As arranging for or assisting a person to receive or get access to payment cards or apps or advising on those products in or from the DIFC is a regulated Financial Service, carrying on such activities without DFSA authorisation may be a breach of the Financial Services Prohibition, the Financial Promotions Prohibition, or both.

Any unauthorised firm providing these services should cease immediately and seek to obtain the relevant DFSA authorisation if it wishes to resume that activity in or from the DIFC. 

The DFSA has a page on its website dedicated to alerts which it has issued about scams. All alerts issued by the DFSA may be accessed by going to: ALERTS

The DFSA has also issued warnings and guidance about the common types of scams perpetrated on consumers. For more information on these scams, please go to: HOW TO AVOID BEING SCAMMED

The DFSA encourages consumers to refer to the list of regulated Firms and Authorised Individuals licensed by the DFSA that is available on the DFSA's: PUBLIC REGISTER

If you have any concerns about the authenticity of any correspondence or documents that purport to be issued by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), DFSA or a DFSA regulated Firm, you should direct your concerns to the DIFC on Tel:+971 4 362 2222 and to the DFSA via the DFSA Complaints function on: COMPLAINTS 

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