Maryland Joins Multi-State Effort to Streamline Licensing for Money Service Businesses

25th State to Join National Agreement to Reduce Regulatory Burdens

News Release, Maryland Department of Labor

BALTIMORE – Maryland Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson and Commissioner of Financial Regulation Tony Salazar announced Maryland’s entry into a multi-state agreement to streamline the licensing process for money service businesses. This agreement reduces regulatory burdens placed on money service businesses when they open or expand in Maryland. It establishes a national licensing protocol that protects consumers and holds businesses to the highest standards and qualifications for licensure.

“By freeing money service businesses from burdensome regulations, this agreement is yet another example of the Hogan Administration’s commitment to keeping Maryland open for business,” said Labor Secretary Robinson. “I applaud the work of Commissioner Salazar and his office for their forward-thinking policies that promote a flexible, efficient, and sound regulatory environment.”

Money service businesses include money transmitters, electronic payment services, and currency exchangers. State financial regulators have pursued this agreement in response to concerns expressed by financial technology startups and industry participants about the challenges of obtaining licenses in multiple states with different procedures before being able to offer their services nationwide.

“This collaborative agreement has eased the ability for money service businesses to maintain or begin their critical operations in Maryland while ensuring they are fit for licensure and qualified to do business with consumers,” said Commissioner Salazar. “In the ever-changing marketplace of financial technology, this new agreement helps Maryland remain competitive and business-friendly.”

The agreement divides the multistate licensing process into two phases. The vast majority of the licensing workload involves items that are common across state lines and will be completed during phase one. The remaining few state-specific licensing requirements will be completed by individual states during phase two. Under the agreement, the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation will still require that MSBs satisfy state licensing standards.

This multi-state agreement is an important component of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors’ Vision 2020 campaign, which seeks to transform the licensing process and harmonize state supervision while engaging with fintech companies. The multi-state streamlined licensing process will be voluntary for both states and applicants. Participating states have already undertaken several rounds of pilot licensing applications and made adjustments based upon those pilot projects. To contact the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation, please visit our website.

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