Reviews of Banks & Financial Institutions

With so many financial institutions to choose from, it can be hard to know who to trust. Money-Gate ever-growing list of bank reviews is updated regularly

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Valyuz is a leading electronic money institution registered and regulated in Lithuania and in Europe....

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Read Interview with Mantas Staliūnas, CEO   Verifo is a modern payment platform for your contemporary...

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The technology company Stripe creates software for businesses to facilitate online payments. Stripe provides economic...

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  Free IBAN accounts in 10+ currencies, Free Visa Card accepted worldwide, 24/7 Access on...

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The British online money transfer company TransferWise was established in 2011 by London-based Estonians Taavet...

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Monese is an award-winning inclusive 100% mobile e money account offering multi-currency banking services worldwide. Monese is...

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Mistertango.com is a regulated Electronic Money Institution (EMI) owned by “Secure Nordic Payments”, UAB. We...

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Case Study - Bank Account for UK Curacao Online Gaming
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61

Online Gambling friendly banks and their requirements

The GBO team will be happy to assist you to obtain gaming license, form a corporate structure, bank & merchant account and everything you need for you throughout our wide network of banks, payment processors and gaming regulators. Consult with us for your needs

 

Read in our Curacao gaming license guide:

  1. You are here – Banking account requirements for online gaming businesses
  2. Curacao Gaming License costs and requirements
  3. How to open an online casino business
  4. How to keep the law and succeed at the same time?
  5. Online gambling jurisdictions and licensing authorities
  6. Where can you operate with a Curacao Gaming License?
  7. Recommended merchant accounts for online gaming businesses

 

For e-gaming companies offering online casinos, poker, draws, bingo, lottery, skill games, crypto casinos and all other online gambling operations on the internet with a gaming license,  there are two basic “must-have” financial services:

 

 

Many banks lack knowledge of the online gaming industry and regulations so they are hesitant to open accounts for e-gaming companies. Financial institutions often impose strict requirements on e-gaming companies before allowing them to open accounts.

 

Our team here at GBO has more than 12 years of experience assisting our customers to negotiate proper banking account setups for their online gambling operations. You can rely on us to provide you with a fast, secure and proper solution to your needs.

Apply here for a Curacao Gaming License and banking accounts

    Bank accounts for online gaming businesses

    It is vital for gaming businesses to have the right payment solutions for their customers. Without this in place, customers are unable to make deposits into their casino accounts, or withdrawals, and the flow of funds into corporate accounts is blocked.

     

    Despite it being difficult for online gaming businesses to find a bank that will offer them banking services, here at GBO we have good relationships with financial institutions that accept e-gaming companies that have an online gaming license, approved beneficial owners and a clear company structure. Let us assist you in meeting all of the banks’ requirements and get you up and running smoothly.

    Requirements of an e-gaming corporate bank account:

    1. The account must be able to transfer money from and to the company’s merchant account.
    2. E-gaming business bank accounts should accept multiple currencies, include cryptocurrencies.
    3. An e-gaming bank account should offer multi-signature rights.
    4. Offer internet banking enabling you to make transactions online anytime, anywhere.
    5. Your business bank account should provide a debit card so that you can withdraw funds anywhere in the world.
    6. E-gaming companies need a business account that can send and receive funds from anywhere in the world and in any currency.

    What is a gambling friendly bank?

    Many mainstream banks consider gambling companies high risk and often implement stringent restrictions and requirements on any bank account for a gambling company. Finding a gaming-friendly bank account for gambling operations may therefore be difficult unless you have the proper guidance.

     

    Traditionally, banks and financial institutions considered online businesses particularly prone to be high risk because of their vulnerability when receiving credit card payments online, as well as canceled transactions, the high number of chargebacks, returned items and refunds.

     

    However, the booming business of online gambling has been also recognized by many progressive banks as a source of strong business, and these banks are accepting applications from properly structured and operated online gaming companies with licenses from recognized jurisdictions.

     

    High risk bank accounts for online gaming sites

    Setting up a corporate account in a bank can be a complex process especially if you are setting up for a business classified as high-risk. Each country can have different and difficult procedures. The simplest approach, when choosing which is the easiest bank to open a business account in European countries, is to consider setting up a multi-currency business bank account with one of the many new EMI and Fintech services. Look for an account that enables multi-currency balances, fund transfers, IBAN account identification and making payments internationally. When standard banking services are offered, this makes the process of trading within European countries much simpler.

     

    Another thing worth considering is to engage us to handle the set-up process.

    With our knowledge and experience here at GBO, we have helped many customers navigate through the complexities of finding a suitable bank, ensuring that you can operate simply and effectively.

     

    Documents needed to open a high risk bank account

    The requirements can vary between countries, and also individual banks. The following are typical demands:

    • Detailed proof of incorporation
    • Certificate of incorporation
    • Articles of association
    • Details from the company register with information about the company’s directors and shareholders
    • Proof of identity for each director and senior manager as well as majority shareholders (usually over 10% stake) of the company
    • Proof of address of the company, with some validation (utility bills, etc.)

    Some banks may request additional documentation and subject the company’s application to more scrutiny, requiring confirmations like source of funding, beneficial ownership etc.

     

    Banks will always perform a KYC (know your customer) scrutiny of the application and can require further information. It’s important to get all of the documents ready and correct from the beginning because the banks may decide against you without further discussion if they perceive a lack of professionalism. Let us walk you through this process and get it right the first time!

     

    Why you should get GBO to help you

    GBO provides you with a reliable full turnkey solution with a dedicated professional account manager dedicated to your requirements. We have 12 years in the gaming consultancy business and guarantee a smooth and simple process. We will assist you with locating accepting banks & payment service providers, please contact us for Curacao online casino license.

     

    FAQ

    Can I set up an offshore bank account for my online gaming business?

    Yes. This is especially advantageous if you are setting up your holding company inside the EU, because this enables the use of SEPA and SWIFT facilities. These make fund transfers fast and safe. The location of the bank does not play any role in online gambling destinations like Curacao, and Malta is already part of the EU.

     

    Must I visit the bank to open the account?

    Many banks now allow you to open your account remotely by completing the process online through their web portal. The required documents can be submitted via courier or even through secured document transfer applications. Talk to us to find out which bank will allow these for you.

     

    How much will it cost to open an online gaming bank account?

    All banks have their own fee schedules, usually made up of a flat activation fee. As well, some may require a minimum balance deposited, and could charge for KYC.

     

    What are the main features the bank should offer for online gambling customers?

    • What currencies can the account hold and transfer?
    • Can the account be used to send and receive transfers to the jurisdictions where your customers and suppliers are located?
    • What are the fees and charges that apply for the businesses account?
    • With your chosen account what level of customer service will be available to you?
    •  Can you access your corporate bank account remotely – is there mobile banking?
    • Can you have multiple signing rights for your chosen account?
    • Does the business account come with cards you can use to pay suppliers or employees?

    Interview with: Rotem Hamburger, Director of Business Development at Valyuz UAB

    Interview with: Rotem Hamburger, Director of Business Development at Valyuz UAB

     

    Rotem has over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, business development and consulting, in various industries. Working and assisting many international brands in forming new relationships and connections, increasing revenue and implementing new ideas.

     

    Contact Rotem with LinkedIn

    Go to Valyuz company review

    1. Can you tell us about Valyuz ?

    Valyuz is an EMI boutique licensed by the Bank of Lithuania, in European Union that specialize in servicing international corporates from different industries providing financial services that includes SEPA,  IBAN’s and SWIFT payment, Corporate Debit Cards, Currency conversions using desktop and mobile application.

    One of our main strength is to maintain and understand the importance of regulatory compliance – both for the onboarding process and after the account is opened, the ongoing monitoring in order to sustain a safe, secure and reliable ecosystem for our customers.

     

    2. Please describe your industry/main market

    We offer our services to international companies from various jurisdiction which operate in different verticals such as Ecommerce, technology, IT, Gaming, Marketing, R&D which are considered relatively low to medium-risk.

     

    3. What direction is the EMI’s industry going in terms of growth after the explosion of companies in the last few years?

    Recently I see many new EMIs and its quite difficult to track all of them. In my opinion, we will see many acquisitions in the near future and the EMIs who are challenging to maintain regulations, will either merge with stronger ones who have managed keep up with compliance and keep growing their customer base.so it is very important to choose the right EMI to work with in order to maintain a sustainable environment.

     

    4. Can you describe what are the 3 main opportunities in the banking industry in Europe?

    First main opportunity is making digital banking services more accessible for new clients, the millennian generation who are more open to work with new technologies and services. The use of mobile will continue to increase and more sophisticated services and apps are available. Also, the European union is becoming more attractive and major player in tech industries related to online business such as IT Development, Financials, entertainment and crypto industry and those clients require advance knowledge and services.

     

    5. Regulation – how does Valyuz cope with the regulations?

    The Regulation environment for EMIs is constantly changing and become more complex and been implemented to new industries such the crypto industry, therefore, we must always be one step ahead making sure we keep proving our services to our customers while keeping the highest standards of compliance and regulation frame.

     

    6. What are your latest developments?

    We keep developing new services and tools in order to fully cater our customer’s requirements. From mass-payment options, dedicated IBANS, mobile apps to internal automated monitoring systems. We are working on implementing new payment methods and will offer our customers the option to buy, sell and exchange Crypto currency, directly from our platform.

     

    7. How do you approach cryptocurrency as a payment method?

    Whether people like it or not, cryptocurrencies are here to stay. We are always looking for solutions to deliver our services to crypto-related customers. That, of course, includes monitoring and compliance tools.

     

    8. Valyuz:

    a. What are your most valuable strengths?

    We have a very strong AML team who are making sure to be on top of all new regulations and keeping our environment safe for our trusted customers.

    We chose real carefully our customers and provide them the most efficient services. We learn about their operations and requirements and cater all their needs.

     

    b. Which industries you focus on?

    The Main industry we focus is the Igaming Industry. We see the industry is having many issues and challenges due to few Bad apples who gave the industry bad reputation. The industry is providing entertainment and many financial institutes, do not want to deal with it. We keep educating our team about the industry and keep growing within. As we work with known Brands from the industry, we are able to save many operators, Game developers and others on many of the transactions as we created an Ecosystem, with many of the brands from the industry.

     

    c. What make you unique in the EMI’ industry?

    Valyuz has a great team and even with the challenges of Covid, we managed to grow our

     

    d. What do you think clients tell about you?

    I would say that most of our customers are happy to have us as a Partner. We understand their needs and know the importance of smooth operations. Of course, we can be seen as strict in regard to AML and compliance. We do so only to keep our environment, secure and reliable for our customers operations.

    Comparing The Top Online Gambling Jurisdictions

    GBO is a market-leading of Curacao Gaming License provider with hundreds of licenses already obtained for our customers

    Speak with us about obtaining a Curacao Gaming License

     

     

    Online Gambling is becoming super-profitable. We’re not talking about how players can make money gambling through the internet. That’s another world in which we don’t claim any special expertise or interest. In this article, we want to bring to our readers attention the explosion that there has been in countries that are now licensing legal e-gaming operations, and how many investors are climbing onto the wagon to get their share of the enormous revenues that are being generated.

     

    Online gaming has been growing slowly as a business venture for a few decades, because opportunities were limited mainly by the limited number of jurisdictions in which it was legal to set up online gambling, and the relatively poor level of public trust in the honesty and integrity of the operators.

     

    A few things have combined to make the e-gaming industries one of the hottest areas into which investors can start to move substantial funds from the overheated markets, and immediately start to see substantial profits with tremendous medium-term and long-term growth.

    The first and most important aspect of the new market is the establishment of many high-quality locations in which it is completely legal to set up and operate online casino gambling and a wide range of other popular websites. In the table below, we have picked out the most attractive countries and territories from which online gaming services can be sold.

    To get your low-cost Curacao Gaming License, contact us NOW

      Top Online Gaming Jurisdictions

      The factors to be considered when choosing which jurisdiction will best suit your own preferences and requirements are explained in more detail below.

       

      Country

      The general reputation of the country, the quality of the legislation that allows eGaming, the structure of the bodies that control the operations, and the confidence that gamblers will have that their betting activities will be secure and fairly monitored with access to official grievance claims mechanisms are all extremely important.

       

      Model of operations

      There is no central standard for online gaming operations. Most countries either charge a flat license fee plus corporate taxes (and some also VAT), or a percentage of gross gaming revenue (GGR), which is the operation’s net retention on all gambling bets minus payouts, or a hybrid model that combines both of these.

       

      Gaming types allowed

      Typically, online gambling operations offer the classical mix of table games like roulette, poker, blackjack, as well as electronic slots and games like bingo. Some countries have national Lotto monopolies and do not permit this type of gambling from private operators.

       

      Geographic reach

      This is one of the most important factors to consider. Although a country’s authority is issuing gambling licenses, it may be prohibited by law or treaty from allowing residents of specific countries from playing. It is the responsibility of the license holder, not the country, to ensure that players from the restricted jurisdictions are not allowed to gamble, and heavy penalties can be imposed, including closure of the operation and seizure of all assets.

       

      License cost

      Each country sets its own cost for issuing an online gambling license, and may also charge for renewal. For example, see our detailed information on the Curacao Gaming License costs.

       

      Tax rate on gambling profit

      Most countries charge a flat rate on retained gambling revenue, which is the difference between bets wagered and payouts. A few also charge a small percentage on all bets. This tax is separate from normal corporate profit tax.

       

      Corporate structure

      The various countries and territories have laws that control the structures, ownership and control of the operators of the holders of the online gaming license, as well as the infrastructure.

       

      Final thoughts

      Online gaming is a terrific investment opportunity for entrepreneurs looking for highly profitable and medium to long-term growth opportunities that don’t require a tremendous up-front investment of capital or manpower.

      Talk to our expert team who have successfully established dozens of full e-Gaming operations for our customers in the best locations.

      Curacao Gaming License Cost in 2021

      GBO is a market-leading of Curacao Gaming License provider with hundreds of licenses already obtained for our customers

      Speak with us about obtaining a Curacao Gaming License

      Curaçao has established itself as one of the most sought-after jurisdictions in which to obtain a license for e-gambling operations. The cost of a Curaçao gaming license compares very favorably to other equally regarded and reputable jurisdictions.

       

      For companies, the added benefits are that Curaçao does not charge any  VAT,  has a low corporate income tax, and does not levy any tax on bets. Curaçao has a progressive legislative system with a long history of political stability. There are already established high quality telecom and internet facilities, and a well-established financial services industry. Taking all of this together, Curaçao is an extremely attractive environment for international online gaming companies to set up operations.

       

      NOTE: There is strong anti-money-laundering legislation in force in Curaçao.

      Curacao License Cost Table

      *All charges are estimates as at 30 June 2021. Contact us for current charges

      Why you should get the Curacao gaming license from us?

      • Hundreds of licenses already obtained for our customers
      • Just 2-3 weeks for the complete licensing process.
      • Low-cost, smooth and simple process.
      • We assist you with opening bank accounts & PSPs
      • You need just one license for all gaming activities

       

      Speak with our experts about your Curacao Gaming License

        Understanding the cost of a Curacao gambling licenses

        A master license permits the holder to run e-gaming operations and provides the ability to sell sub-licenses to other parties. Master licenses are only issued at the discretion of the Minister of Justice, and it has become extremely difficult to obtain a master license in Curaçao.

         

        A sub-license can be issued by the holder of a master license, and it offers the same rights to operate online gambling activities in a legitimate manner but is a single-instance license. A sub-licensee cannot sell additional sub-licenses to third parties.

         

        What kinds of online gambling is permitted with a license?

        The license allows for internet-based casino operations, including poker, roulette, sports betting, casino card games like Blackjack, slots, video games and lotto.

         

        What are the steps I need to take to get a Curaçao gambling license?

        Only companies registered in Curaçao can be approved as holders of a sub-license. Let our expert team at GBO take care of the necessary procedures to obtain the license, set up your company, payments and banking accounts. Read more about these requirements in our detailed articles on Banking, Screening. Payments, and Merchant Accounts specifically for Curacao gaming license operators.

        In order to apply for registration of a sub-license, a company must meet certain basic criteria:

        • Full compliance with Due Diligence and KYC procedures
        • Full identification of the company’s UBOs – Ultimate Beneficial Owner(s)
        • Satisfactory references on UBOs
        • A detailed and transparent description of the games to be offered.

         

        The company can then register its sub-license and start to run internet gambling operations in Curaçao.

         

        How much does a Curaçao gaming license cost?

        Over the years, GBO has helped many of our customers to set up the necessary corporate, banking and payment handling infrastructure as well as purchasing a sub-license from a one of the holders of a master license. The price paid for the sub-license has varied, largely due to the levels of demand. In general, the price has ranged from approximately €15,000 to €20,000. Our team of experts are ready to update you with the likely costs – please contact us.

         

        What is the total cost of setting up a new Curaçao online casino?

        The total cost depends on the exact corporate structure but will be about €25,000

        Guide to Merchant Account provision for CBD business

        Finding a high-risk merchant account provider for your CBD internet business

         

        Contact us for CBD Corporate Solutions

        Why do internet marketers need a Merchant Account?

        When a customer makes an online purchase from a merchant’s website that is going to be charged to his credit/debit card, the payment gateway allows for accepting the card details, and performing the necessary checks and validations. A merchant account is essential so that the account holder receives the payment processing services necessary for accepting credit and debit card transactions. Once processed, the funds are credited to a merchant account established by the business owner and when the payment is finally approved by the payment gateway, the merchant’s business bank account in their own bank is credited. A merchant has no direct control over his merchant account, it is simply a retaining account for funds to be held until the transaction is finalized.

         

        What makes CBD business a special case?

        CBD stands for cannabidiol and it is the less active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). Cannabis has for many years been treated as an illegal Schedule I drug and it could not be sold in any market, including over the internet. It is really CBD’s sister ingredient THC that puts cannabis onto the banned list.

         

        Everything changed in 2018 when President Trump signed the Farm Bill into law legalizing hemp, which is a type of plant totally without THC, and with very low levels (typically less than 0.3%) of cannabidiol. Before the change, “hemp” was generally used to describe a non-intoxicating plant of the genus Cannabaceae that has been harvested for the industrial use of its derived products, which can be to produce crucial resources such as food, rope, clothing, paper, housing material etc.
        Prior to this law, hemp itself, and CBD extracted from it, were both classified as parts of the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of banned substances. As a result, in setting up business to market CBD oils and related products, some special conditions kick-in.

         

        Immediately after the change in the laws, there was a massive growth in levels of business and demand for merchant accounts. However, most of the banks refused to provide these services, and within a very short time, more than 90% of total accounts supported came from a single CBD payment processor, Elavon Inc., a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp. However, very shortly afterwards, they decided that the risks were too great, and dropped this service, leaving just a single provider available to support the whole US market.

         

        The CBD rules and regulations will continue to change and evolve as the culture, landscape, and markets continue to adjust. This potential of change creates a lot of uncertainty among more traditional service providers such as merchant account banks. If you want to move forward and accept credit and debit cards, you must find a merchant account service that fully understands and deals with all aspects of CBD business.

         

         

        The whole scope of the trade is flagged as being “high-risk”. CBD is not the only kind of business flagged as high-risk and It shares many of the problems in setting up banking and merchant accounts. You can get a better picture of what high-risk means here:
        How to setup banking for a CBD business

        What Makes a Company High Risk?

        When it comes to setting up the necessary banking facilities, as we describe here, many banks will neither establish a corporate banking facility nor will they provide merchant accounts for companies that are wanting to trade in CBD products. For this reason, the whole subject needs special treatment under the heading of this article – high-risk merchant accounts providers for CBD.

        What financial services does a CBD online business need?

        • CBD online businesses need to pay traffic generators like Google, Facebook and other platforms that create direct traffic and leads.
        • CBD online businesses need to pay for the constant up-date, maintenance, operation and work needed on their website. This may require payment to social media accounts, content writers, domains, servers and office expenses.
        • CBD online businesses will hopefully have expansion expenses including hiring new staff, renting office space and other operational expenses, legal services, utilities etc.
        • CBD Businesses Account Needs Financial Services to Receive Payments.
        • CBD online businesses will need a way to receive payment for their products sold online to direct customers.
        • CBD online businesses need to be able to receive card payments from customers making online purchases. For this CBD online businesses need a high risk merchant account and business bank account.
        • You may also need an account where you can accept funds from third parties.

        Need for a High-Risk Merchant Account

        All online businesses need a merchant account in order to accept online card payments. If banks refuse to give them a regular merchant account, then the company can apply for a high risk merchant account. High risk merchant accounts perform the same function as a regular merchant account but because the bank is taking a higher risk they impose higher fees and charges as well as stricter contract conditions. With high risk merchant accounts, the bank may use risk management strategies like a rolling reserve, to protect the bank and the merchant from potential losses.

        High Risk Merchant Account Providers for CBD in Europe

        We have conducted in-depth research into the subject of high-risk merchant account providers, along with which are most suitable for high-risk business like CBD trade. Read more of the up-to-date picture here:

        Best High Risk Merchant Account in Europe 2021

        Largest Electronic Money Institutions in Europe

        How Do Merchant Account Providers Determine a Business’s Risk Level?

        Offshore CBD Payment Processing

        The main need for an offshore merchant account is where the account is underwritten by a bank or processor that is situated in a different country from the one where the business is located. The most common reasons for needing an offshore account are where the merchant does a significant amount of business in a foreign country and needs to accept payments in that local currency or has offices in different countries, and needs separate merchant accounts for each.
        Another reason is when a business is considered to be so risky that it cannot obtain a regular high-risk merchant account in its own country of operation and domicile. This is one of the main features for CBD businesses right now, until the dust settles.
        When considering an offshore merchant account for CBD, the many different regulations that will apply for interstate/cross-border trade in THC products will have an effect on whether the service will be provided, and on the rates charged by any banks that do provide such service.

        How do I process CBD payments?

        The merchant account providers listed in this document provide for standard processing when payment is made by credit card/debit card. The terms may vary depending on the domicile of the vendor and of the purchaser, including some features such as age validation. eCommerce payment gateways must have the necessary security and hack detection features to protect the transaction from start to finish. There should be no requirement imposed by the merchant account service provider for extra levels of protection.

        EU Corporate Structure For A Curacao Gaming Company

        The GBO team will be happy to assist you to form the most suitable Curacao gaming corporate structure and Curacao gaming licensing needs for you throughout our wide network of banks, payment processors and gaming regulators.

        Apply here for a Curacao Gaming License

        Introducing Curacao – your next e-gaming home

        This article outlines our method for overcoming some of the structural obstacles for nonresidents attracted by the positive features for e-Gaming enterprises operating out of Curacao but who will face some difficulties when setting up the necessary payment processing infrastructure. Throughout, we will be referring to the informatic diagram below that sets out graphically as a schematic of the targeted structure.

         

        The independent Caribbean island nation of Curacao used to be part of the Netherlands Antilles. Since 2010 Curacao has had an independent constitutional government but is nominally still part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This means that Curacao holds the unique status of being part of the EU without actually being in Europe. That gives Curacao enjoys many of the benefits of EU membership without the heavy taxing.

        Curacao Gaming Company + EU Payment Agent structure example

        EU company, PSP , EMI with curacao gaming company

        Why Curacao

        The Curacao Gaming Commission has strong links with the Netherlands and is a respected regulator of online gambling in the gaming industry. The application process for a gaming license is straightforward. Curacao licenses are in high demand, and they are relatively inexpensive and require low-cost annual maintenance.

         

        Curacao has its own gaming authority – the Curacao Internet Gambling Association established in 2002 under the Curacao Gaming Control Board.

         

        Curacao is one of the oldest and most popular gaming locations in the world. It currently has more than 450 licensed online casinos. Curacao has the longest record of any jurisdiction in the online gambling sector, running since the National Ordinance on Offshore Games of Hazard in 1996, which legalized online gambling, leading to the issue of licenses.

        The Curacao gaming license is available only to companies that are based in Curacao. It is one of the most affordable in the established gaming jurisdictions, with a base cost of around €21,500. One license covers all games such as online casinos, slots, sports betting, eSports, lottery, and games of skill and chance.

         

        What is a Curacao gambling license?

        There are two kinds of Curacao gambling license. Master licenses are valid for five years, and only four master licenses have been issued since 1996. Sub-licenses are linked to a single master license and are valid as long as the master license remains valid. It’s not possible any longer to apply for a master license. Both licenses permit the conduct of all kinds of gambling activities.

         

        Do you need a license?

        The question is just not relevant to Curacao. Instead, it’s necessary to understand the benefits of a proper gaming license in general. In the first place, it removes worries about repercussions that arise from an unlicensed gaming site, which can be severe monetary fines or even jail terms. There is always the prospect that the casino will be shut down entirely by authorities until it meets the specified regulation in the jurisdiction where it is located.

         

        Secondly, operating the financial transactions requires access to reliable banking services, and particularly to payment service providers. Many reputable banks refuse to deal with e-gaming site operators that don’t have a license in a recognized and reputable jurisdiction such as Curacao.

         

        Thirdly, running the e-gaming operations requires access to high-risk merchant account providers that offer the latest, efficient and effective payment and internet services as well as software packages. These service providers are generally wary of unlicensed gambling site operators because of the safety risk and the lack of payment surety. They will either demand funding up-front, or escalate their charges, or both.

         

        What are the benefits of a Curacao Gaming License?

        A reason why Curacao attracts online casino operators is the low level of tax. What in other jurisdictions will attract a long list of different taxes and fees that operators must pay, in Curacao, will only amount to a 2% net gains tax. Along with that there is the low initial license and the relatively modest application and renewal fees.

         

        There are very few negative aspects. The one limitation is that a Curacao gaming license operator cannot accept players from a few countries such as the USA, France, the Netherlands, and Curacao itself.

         

        Overcoming some difficulties for Curacao nonresidents

        Curacao companies trying to establish the necessary financial structure with bank accounts and the merchant account facilities necessary to accept online payments have encountered significant obstacles for many years. Regulatory scrutiny and their classification as a ‘high risk’ enterprise limit their ability to accept payments from some jurisdictions. The solution is to create a structure combining the local Curacao e-gaming company, which has the license, with a merchant account located somewhere in the EU, which recognizes the validity of Curacao e-gambling licenses without having also to impose the ancillary financial restrictions. In a few of the cases we have dealt with, it has involved setting up the banking and merchant account facilities in the UK or Cyprus, with online gaming activities based in Curacao, as well as credit card processing and the movement of funds between customers and the e-gaming operator.

         

        Setting up the infrastructure for an e-gaming business in Curacao

        For any e-gaming companies there are five essential “must-have” components:

        • A company registered in Curacao that is the holder of a sublicense for e-gaming
        • A bank account that caters for high-risk payment processing companies
        • A merchant account/payment service provider (PSP) designed to optimize i-gaming payment processing
        • Associated EMI (Electronic Money Institution) accounts that channel the PSP transactions
        • A holding company somewhere in the EU banking domain as the legal entity that sets up and controls the necessary financial accounts – bank (which is not mandatory), EMI and merchant / PSP.

         

        General guidelines for creating e-gaming payment infrastructure.

        Many banks lack knowledge of the online gaming industry and regulations, so they are hesitant to open accounts for e-gaming companies. Financial institutions often impose strict requirements on e-gaming companies before allowing them to open high-risk merchant accounts in Europe.

         

        As e-gaming companies are considered high risk, they are often rejected by banks and instead have to work with a high-risk payment processor familiar with the i-gaming industry and already provides gaming merchant services. One of the main reasons banks and payment service providers reject e-gaming companies as new gaming merchant account customers is the issue of chargebacks. Banks also consider e-gaming companies high risk because of the danger of disputes over bonus claims and the risk of gambling addictions.

         

        A central feature that must be offered is smooth and simple payment processing for online gaming, acceptance of deposits, ensuring safety and privacy, and guaranteeing those account holders can withdraw quickly and easily.

         

        For these services, an effective payment processing agent as part of the structure of processing payments for the website offering the online gaming services is definitely required. Most e-gaming operators have experienced difficulties finding a reliable service provider of bank accounts and merchant account facilities necessary for credit card transaction processing.

         

        Curacao presents some specific advantages in this area, along with general corporate advantages like low tax rates on corporate and gaming profits (see below). Because Curacao is nominally a part of the EU, its license is recognized by all European banks. That creates the opportunity to set up the corporate banking structure inside Europe with an EU-based payment processing agent providing high-risk merchant account payment processing. Although it falls outside the EU taxation regulations, it has been accepted as conforming to the Code of Conduct for business taxation as well as compliance with other global standards like CTF and AML.

         

        Gaming businesses need to have the proper payment solutions for their customers. Online gaming companies must have a gaming merchant account in order to accept card payments but maintaining a merchant account comes with a price.

         

        Not all payment processing services accept clients from the e-gambling industry. Gaming is considered high risk because of the heavy traffic, high transaction volume, vulnerability to fraudulent activity and chargebacks. Gaming websites have to use a service to process incoming bets and payouts to their players. Gaming payment processing services must provide real-time identification of fraudulent transactions and fast card payments from players worldwide in multiple currencies.

        Rating European Banks By Efficiency

        European Banks graded by bank efficiency ratio

         

        There are several interesting observations buried deep in the most recent Financial Stability Review from the European Central Bank. We feel that with the next one covering the first half of 2021 due out at the end of July, it will be good to be prepared with some insights of what to look for. That way, you are ahead of the general market’s reactions and can make positive steps to capitalize on the expected positive slant that post-corona economic upswings are bringing to business in Europe in particular, and to banking opportunities for startups in particular.

         

        An analysis of the top 51 banks in Europe ranked by our own Banking Efficiency Ratio shows interesting patterns, as can be seen in the following table:

        Rating European banks by efficiency

        Some of the general comments emphasised the impact on macroeconomic prospects of the coronavirus pandemic on balance sheets, which dominates the outlook for euro area financial stability.

         

        Euro area banks are reported to be facing asset quality concerns and pressures on profitability. According to the ECB report, European banks are generally well capitalised, but are facing weak profitability prospects.

         

        Looking at the banks through a different lens

        We believe that there is one way to pick up on some of the points made in the ECB survey, and by using a different viewpoint to come out with a way of assessing the areas in Europe that represent a more attractive target for startups looking to establish their initial foothold with the assistance of the larger banks.

         

        Throughout our website, we have written extensively on what startup businesses should be looking for from their banks. Some examples are:

         

        We are hoping to expand this range with in-depth analysis of the options offered by the banking sector in Europe post-pandemic.

        How to calculate the efficiency ratio for banks?

        A good bank efficiency ratio is a measure of how well the bank makes use of its premium expense, which is it’s workforce. With the cost of raising finance at an historic low, the major operational cost for banks today is not interest on deposits or borrowings, but expenditure on personnel. Any bank that can keep a lid on its staff numbers while continuing to grow (measured by accumulation of retained earnings) will be an automatic choice for entrepreneurs looking for their banking partners. In the next table, in which we compare personnel numbers to accumulated net assets, and come up with some interesting findings, which we are calling the Bank Efficiency Ratio.

         

        What is a good bank efficiency ratio?

        The efficiency ratio for banks can be calculated by measuring the proportion of total assets to total personnel. The table validates this method, because the banks that we expect to show-up as highly efficient are operating in sophisticated economies, such as Germany, Switzerland and the Nordic states, and they are at the very top of our table. The rationale behind our calculation is that banks that are not hyper-efficient in competitive environments will soon lose their edge against the opposition, and lose their ranking in the top table.

        At the other end of the table, the banks in the notoriously inefficient countries, like Russia, are managing to keep a foothold in the top table only by virtue of their special backing from the state. We believe than eventually they will be replaced by upcoming players in the major banking world.

        In general, there has been no consistent guide for how to calculate efficiency ratio for banks, nor on what is a good bank efficiency ratio. It became fairly clear in the table that while the countries that are generally held in the highest regard for banking standards are well deserving of this, there are a number of surprises.

         

        UK as a benchmark

        The benchmark for European banking has for centuries been the UK, which has for a long time had both the largest and most diverse spread of banks. Right now, without yet having had to go through the long-term deprivation that Brexit is expected to exert, UK banks have fallen behind, sitting right in the middle of the pack of 15, and in terms of total assets as well as number of participants in the top table, having fallen behind France and Germany.

         

        Not entirely surprisingly, two countries that have never been able to master workplace efficiency fall down to near the bottom of the table – Russia in the extreme, and Italy. While it’s not to say that individual banks in these countries can’t buck the trend and offer the same level of efficient service as you can get elsewhere, it does offer a pointer to startups as to where they should be looking first.

         

        Without help, new businesses can be wasting time trying to establish their banking infrastructure in inherently inefficient service providers. Let us be your guide to those first essential steps because we have the necessary experience and knowledge in all aspects of startup banking in Europe.

        Latest Statistics About European Banks

        European Banks in 2021

        There have been few substantial changes in the comparative list of the European Banks. The most striking feature is the resilience of the larger banks. As well, there has not yet been a significant shift in the relative strengths of the UK banks when measured against the rest of Europe. Our analysis below is drawn from a number of different sources, and it gives, we believe, a particular view that many other publications may have missed.

        The top 50 banks ranked by assets is shown in the table below, followed by our comments.

        European Banks in 2021

        One more table tells an interesting story. Although the list of banks above seems to cover a wide range of banking strength distributed across the whole of Europe, the next analysis shows that the overwhelming balance of the banking environment is slanted towards just five countries.

        One half of the total assets across the whole continent is held by France, UK, Spain, Germany and Italy. Add to that list Netherlands and Switzerland, and fully three-quarters of the total is then held by just seven country’s banks.

        Europeans banks by countries

        Conclusions

        1. Despite the anticipated upheaval of the banking scene in Europe that was supposed to follow Brexit, along with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the larger sectors of European banking have remained remarkably resilient.
        2. There is still a strong emphasis on the major banks, which dominate the top-end of the banking sector
        3. Right now, Brexit has had little effect overall.
        4. The strength of the whole European banking sector makes it still the right place for new activity.

         

        We are here to offer new entrants to the banking sector Public Relations advice, promotions to the banking market that includes interview, exposure, posts for overall presence, and all the marketing and promotion needed to increase awareness of your services, to create interest in your products, to generate sales opportunities and to create brand loyalty.

        Interview with Isaac T. Armoni, founder of Wallter UAB

        Interview with Isaac T. Armoni (Esq./MBA), Chief Executive Officer at Wallter

        Banking, Compliance and Legal professional with proven 20+ years track record of success while working for various global companies and Banks. Employing his comprehensive experience in Venture Capital, IT, Start-up, Banking, Finance, Aviation, Compliance and Corporate Banking, Isaac brings his proven expertise, knowledge and network of international Banks, Affiliates, Lawyers and other service providers to Wallter®. Isaac Holds a LLB and IMBA (cum laude) degrees.

         

         

        Wallter review

        1. Can you tell us about Wallter®?

        Wallter ® is a leading better payments solutions financial institution which is growing rapidly. We are excited to constantly offer new products and service to our merchants. We seek to provide approachable digital banking platform with innovative technology and state-of-the-art compliance. Wallter® is licensed in Lithuania, United Kingdom and Singapore, offering worldwide seamless account services for merchants (B2B).

         

        2. Please describe your industry/main market

        Wallter® being the 3rd largest EMI in Lithuania and Baltic region provides payments solutions and related services to merchants including: SEPA and Swift IBANs and payments, competitive FX rates, 100 local currencies payments, Instant SEPA payments, debit cards and soon offering merchants the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrencies and view their balance in their Wallter® system (using 3rd party service provider).

         

        3. What direction is the EMI’s industry going in terms of growth after the explosion of companies in the last few years?

        The EMI’s industry will grow with offering services like open banking, FIAT to crypto services, blockchain. As the regulatory environment is getting tighter, we believe that market participants that offer an innovative and user-friendly technological solution combined with digital compliance and regulatory requirements will continue to take larger portions of the markets and weaker participants will not sustain.

         

        4. Can you describe what are the 3 main opportunities in the banking industry in Europe?

        The opportunities today related to one stop solutions offering a variety of services including: international and local payments, processing, instant payments, FIAT to crypto solutions and other tailored solutions for merchants. Also, potential partnerships with banks and other financial institutions which might create even more innovative products using both parties knowledge, client data and resources.

         

        5. How to do you see your industry 3 years from now?

        Today we see only the beginning of the digital banking revolution which is already redefining banking and challenges traditional banking channels. In the next 3 years we expect this trend to grow offering more services, products and innovations. As the world exits the pandemic we strongly believe the e-commerce, contactless payments and digital banking platforms will continue to grow. We also see tendency of customers choosing online banking platforms focusing on tailored solutions for them and offering personal attention to clients.

         

        6. Regulation – how does Wallter®cope with the regulations?

        Wallter® keeps up to date with regulatory changes and trends. We have a dedicated department just for regulatory requirements. As the regulators are more involved and enforcement is tighter, we welcome this regulation and supervision of market participants and will continue to participate in the global fight of anti-money laundering. Wallter®will continue to develop its proprietary compliance procedures, flows and technology while hiring more qualified team members, and providing them with training and knowledge, also involving AI tools dedicated for fraud prevention. Wallter® has an outstanding compliance department to cope with all challenges that arise.

         

        7. What are your latest developments?

        Our latest developments are unfolding and we wish not to create a spoiler. We can share that Wallter® will be offering cryptocurrencies services through the partnerships very soon and bringing more innovation and solutions to the market.

         

        8. Wallter®:

        1. What are your most valuable strengths?
          1. Excellent management and team members
          2. Advanced compliance team
          3. Advanced technological innovation.
          4. Flexibility and amazing customer service
        2. Which industries you focus on?

        We offer services to a variety of industries among others, e-commerce, defense, FX, Crypto exchange, licensed PSP and more.

             3. What make you unique in the EMI’ industry?

        Innovation, services, compliance DNA and understanding, safeguarding, respectable management, state of the art technology, constant development of additional services and products.

             4. What do you think client tell about you?

        Clients can say that Wallter® stands stronger and better than other market participants offering quick, innovative and personal services, maintains its integrity over a long time, that they feel their funds are safeguarded and protected and that Wallter® provides them with a personal customer service and tailored solutions for their business needs.

         

        Wallter® is the 3rd largest EMI in Lithuania as published by BOL and provides:

        • Designated SEPA Iban Accounts
        • Aggregated Swift Iban accounts
        • Wire Transfer / Payment Services.
        • Multi-currency Accounts.
        • Personalized Prepaid card- Business expenses, Payroll, travel and more.
        • Payout in 100 local currencies.
        • Buy and sell crypto currency.