The FinTech licence allows institutions to accept public deposits of up to CHF 100 million or cryptobased assets, provided that these are not invested and no interest is paid on them. A further requirement is that an institution with a FinTech licence (persons under Article 1b of the Banking Act) must be a company limited by shares, a corporation with unlimited partners or a limited liability company and must have its registered office and conduct its business activities in Switzerland.
FINMA is responsible for granting the FinTech licence. Upon receiving licence applications, FINMA assesses whether the intended business activities require a licence and whether the planned business activities are possible under the terms of the FinTech licence. To simplify the application process, FINMA has published guidelines. Interested parties can also present their project to FINMA prior to submission of the application. The authorisation process is subject to fees. These are set out in the Fees and Levies Ordinance.
After receiving the application, FINMA will inform the applicant which FINMA staff member is responsible for their licensing procedure and whether any additional information or documents need to be submitted. FINMA can request a licensing audit report from the applicant as part of the licensing procedure. It will decide on an individual basis whether this is necessary. The duration of the licensing procedure depends on the complexity of the project and the quality and completeness of the application.