Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) Clarifies Issuing of Virtual or Physical Bank Cards falls under Providing Money Services

19 June 2023

Ajmal Khan

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has clarified the regulations surrounding the issuance of virtual or physical payment cards. According to the DFSA, these activities fall under the category of Providing Money Services and require authorization. Arranging and Advising on Money Services, as outlined in Rule 2.32.1(1) of the DFSA's Rulebook, includes assisting individuals in obtaining debit cards and providing advice on using Money Services providers.

Arranging for someone to receive Money Services involves introducing them to Money Services Providers, helping them with application processes, and negotiating terms related to Money Services. This also applies to facilitating the issuance of cards on behalf of external financial institutions.

Engaging in these activities without DFSA authorization is a breach of the Financial Services Prohibition and the Financial Promotions Prohibition. Unauthorized firms must cease these activities and obtain proper authorization if they wish to resume them.
Consumers are advised to consult the DFSA's public register, which lists regulated firms and authorized individuals. This ensures dealing with legitimate entities.

If there are concerns about the authenticity of correspondence or documents purportedly from the DIFC, DFSA, or regulated firms, individuals can contact the DIFC or use the DFSA's complaints function.

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