Business Legal Services

Payment Services Lawyers

Experts in payment services and electronic money law and regulation

If you’re involved in providing payment services or issuing electronic money (e-money), or work with someone who is, you can rely on our expert solicitors for strategic and pragmatic legal and regulatory advice whether you provide regulated or unregulated services or assist those that do.

We can advise you on if you need to become authorised, and on the authorisation process and mechanics, to:

  • provide payment services; or
  • issue e-money

and how to comply with the applicable regulatory regime.

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What we do

Payment services solicitors

The Payment Services Regulations 2017 (PSR) and the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 (EMR and together with the PSR the Regulations) govern the provision of payment services and issuance of e-money in the UK. The PSR creates an authorisation and registration regime that differs from the authorisation regime under Part 4A of the FSMA which applies to e-money and other regulated financial services.

In order to provide payment services or issue e-money you must either have appropriate authorisation and permissions under Part 4A FSMA, be exempt or be an agent of a payment institution or e-money institution.

The Regulations detail what does and does not constitute the provision of payment services and issuance of electronic money. Many firms provide services that fall outside of the Regulations but require advice to make sure they structure their products and operations so that they do not inadvertently provide services that require FCA authorisation or registration as to do so would be a criminal offence.

Our payment services lawyers can assist you with your payment services requirements and walk you through what you need to do from applying for authorisation through to dealing with your regulators. Some of the typical areas we would help your business with include:

  • Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) and the Regulated Activities Order (RAO).
  • Advising whether or not your business involves regulated payment services or e-money issuance.
  • Advising unregulated firms how structuring their activities so that they do not inadvertently carry out regulated payment services and on any regulatory requirements they need to be aware of, including the requirements of any applicable exclusions.
  • Applying for authorisation to provide payment services or issue e-money.
  • Drafting, negotiating and updating commercial agreements including white label agreements between service providers.
  • Drafting and reviewing customer agreements for the provision of payment services to businesses and consumers.
  • Drafting and reviewing policies and procedures.
  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML) legislation.
  • Data protection legislation including the GDPR and DPA.
  • Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) – including guidance on how to handle customer complaints.
  • Dealing with any of your regulators on your behalf including the Financial Ombudsman Service in relation to complaints.
  • Queries relating to any area of regulated payment services and electronic money issuance which could include any of the following:
    • legality of fees connected with payment accounts
    • How best to apply strong customer authentication to electronic payments
    • Payment Services Directive (PSD2)
    • Payment Accounts Directive (PAD)
    • Payment account switching
    • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – including handbook rules and breaches
  • Sale, acquisitions and mergers involving regulated companies including those providing payment services.

Our payment services solicitors will also work closely with our corporate and commercial teams to cover all aspects of your deal, so the legal work is seamless whatever the transaction.

Who we help

From start-ups to payment institutions

Our payment services lawyers regularly advise many different individuals and organisations, such as:

  • Payment acquirers, also known as merchant acquirers (payment institutions and banks)
  • Money remittance firms
  • Card issuers such as prepaid, credit and debit card issuers
  • E-money issuers (e-money institutions and of issuers)
  • Entrepreneurs and disruptors developing new financial services
  • E-commerce marketplaces
  • Overseas companies looking to offer financial services in the UK
  • Companies proposing to offer payment services or issue e-money
  • Fintech firms
  • Regtech firms
  • Providers of unregulated payment services
  • Any other payment service provider
  • Payment processors and other intermediaries providing services to any of the above
  • Clients of payment service providers such as retailers and e-commerce marketplaces

We explain how the Regulations may affect you and your business, or if you’re new to financial services, we can discuss how you need to become regulated and the steps to maintain that regulation.

Meet our team

Why choose our payment services solicitors?

Our payment services solicitors have all been recruited from top 100 UK law firms, from the FCA or from large international businesses. They each have more than 15 years’ experience working in law and financial services. Find out more about our finance solicitors here:

Complete solutions

Experts in financial services regulation

In addition to supporting you across all areas of payment services and e-money, our team can also assist with:


What our clients say

Our on-demand relationship with Harper James allows our in-house counsel instant access to specialist support. We relied on their valued guidance to get us through the acquisition process with accuracy and confidence.
Alison Conway Senior Advisor, Trust Payments
Experience of your team and how they make it simple to understand the options and what is required. Value for money.
Paul Smith COO, Incuto
Our on-demand relationship with Harper James allows our in-house counsel instant access to specialist support. We relied on their valued guidance to get us through the acquisition process with accuracy and confidence.
Alison Conway Senior Advisor, Trust Payments
Experience of your team and how they make it simple to understand the options and what is required. Value for money.
Paul Smith COO, Incuto

Pricing plans

Legal support designed
to fit your business needs

Our three transparent pricing packages are designed to give you the widest possible access to high-quality legal advice, whatever the size and nature of your business:


Straightforward access to senior solicitors at a competitive rate.

An affordable solution for businesses needing one-off legal support. Receive ‘City’ partner-level expertise at a fraction of ‘City’ prices.


Providing you with priority access to a dedicated panel of highly experienced solicitors.

Fully account managed quarterly subscription service for businesses with more complex legal needs.

What next?

Please leave us your details and we’ll contact you to discuss your situation and legal requirements. There’s no charge for your initial consultation, and no-obligation to instruct us. We aim to respond to all messages received within 24 hours.

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Our offices

A national law firm

A national law firm

Our commercial lawyers are based in or close to major cities across the UK, providing expert legal advice to clients both locally and nationally.

We mainly work remotely, so we can work with you wherever you are. But we can arrange face-to-face meeting at our offices or a location of your choosing.

Head Office

Floor 5, Cavendish House, 39-41 Waterloo Street, Birmingham, B2 5PP
Regional Spaces

Stirling House, Cambridge Innovation Park, Denny End Road, Waterbeach, Cambridge, CB25 9QE
13th Floor, Piccadilly Plaza, Manchester, M1 4BT
10 Fitzroy Square, London, W1T 5HP
Harwell Innovation Centre, 173 Curie Avenue, Harwell, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QG
1st Floor, Dearing House, 1 Young St, Sheffield, S1 4UP
White Building Studios, 1-4 Cumberland Place, Southampton, SO15 2NP
A national law firm

To access legal support from just £145 per hour arrange your no-obligation initial consultation to discuss your business requirements.

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