Money Transmission and the Sale of Payment Instruments

The Department regulates money transmitters and sellers of payment instruments pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 7-1-680 through 7-1-698.[1]  A “money transmitter” is an entity licensed by the Department to receive money or monetary value for transmission or transmitting money or monetary value by any and all means, including, but not limited to, an order, wire, facsimile, or electronic transfer.  O.C.G.A. § 7-1-680(13) and (14).  A “seller of payment instruments” is an entity licensed by the Department to create, issue, or pass title of a payment instrument, including, but not limited to, checks, money orders, drafts, stored value cards, and open loop transactions.  O.C.G.A. § 7-1-680(17), (21), and (22).

It is important to note that these definitions include some forms of virtual currency transactions.  Therefore, some providers of virtual currency services must be licensed with the Department to provide services to Georgia consumers.  For more information about virtual currency, please visit   Download this pdf file. “Virtual Currency.”

Money transmitters and sellers of payment instruments must be licensed by the Department in order to offer such services to Georgia consumers unless the entity qualifies for one of the limited exemptions listed in O.C.G.A. § 7-1-682.  The Department utilizes the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (“NMLS”) to license and manage money transmitters and sellers of payment instruments.   Consumers can verify that money transmitters and sellers of payment instruments are authorized to operate in Georgia by checking NMLS Consumer Access, available at: www.nmlsconsumeraccess.com.

If you believe that you have conducted business with an entity conducting money transmission or selling payment instruments in Georgia who is not listed as a licensed entity through NMLS Consumer Access, please report such entity to msb@dbf.state.ga.us.

If you have had an issue with a licensed money transmitter or licensed seller of payment instruments in Georgia, you should attempt to resolve the issue directly with the business.  If you are unable to resolve the issue directly with the entity, you may wish to file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”).  For more information about the CFPB complaint process, please visit: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/.

The Department is not authorized to resolve disputes between consumers and businesses.  However, the Department does use information provided by consumers in its regulatory process.  If you wish to report an issue to the Department, please send a detailed email and supporting documentation to reportissue@dbf.state.ga.us.

For more information on how the Department regulates money transmitters and sellers of payment instruments, please visit “Money Service Businesses.”

 

 

 

[1] To access these laws or any part of the Georgia Code, please visit the Georgia General Assembly and type in the relevant Code Section (e.g., “7-1-680”) into the provided search bar. (Links off-site)

The Code is provided by the State of Georgia from the Georgia General Assembly's website. In viewing the Code, please be aware that legislation passed during the most recent legislative session may not yet be posted on LexisNexis.