The South Carolina Office of the Attorney General, Money Services Division, licenses and regulates money transmitters and currency exchange institutions within the State pursuant to the South Carolina Anti-Money Laundering Act, S.C. Code Ann. § 35-11-100 et seq. (the “Act”). Answers to many of your questions and concerns may be found in this section. Please use any of the links for additional assistance. If you still need assistance, please call our office at (803) 734-1221 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to assist you.
Request for written interpretations regarding the Act, the regulations, or any other order issued thereunder, must be submitted in writing, as described in S.C. Code Regs. § 13-2801.
What type of licenses does South Carolina Money Services Division offer for Money Service Businesses?
The Money Services Division issues two different license types for money service businesses:
Money Transmitter License: This license is required for any company or person engaging in the business of money transmission or advertising, soliciting, or holding itself out as providing money transmission. Money transmission means selling or issuing payment instruments or stored value, or receiving money or monetary value for transmission. Money transmission does not include the provision solely of delivery, online, or telecommunications services or network access.
Currency Exchange License: This license is required for any company or person engaging in the business of currency exchange or advertising, soliciting, or holding itself out as providing currency exchange for which the person receives revenues equal to or greater than five percent of total revenues. Currency exchange means receipt of revenues from the exchange of money of one government for money of another government.
Check Casher Licenses are issued by the South Carolina Board of Financial Institutions/Consumer Finance Division.
What are the requirements to become licensed in South Carolina?
Is the transmission of virtual currency regulated under the Act?
The Money Services Division views virtual currencies as lacking the characteristics necessary to be a medium of exchange. Therefore, it is the view of the Division that virtual currencies alone do not qualify as monetary value. However, to the extent that virtual currency transactions also involve the transfer of fiat currency, they may be subject to money transmission regulation under the Act. For more information, see the Division’s December 5, 2018 interpretation.pdf
For situations in which an automated machine, or ATM, is involved with the transfer of virtual currency, please see Order MSD-19003 (pdf) to assist in determining if a license would be required in South Carolina.
I want to offer wire transmission services as an agent of another company licensed as a money transmitter in South Carolina, such as Western Union. Do I need a Money Transmitter License from the Money Services Division?
No. You will be considered an authorized delegate (agent) of the license holder. As an authorized delegate of a license holder, such as Western Union, you do not need a license from the Division for the activities covered by the authorized delegate agreement. The license holder is responsible for reporting all of its active authorized delegates to the Money Services Division on a quarterly basis.
However, if you are also offering other Division-regulated money services business activities not covered in your authorized delegate agreement with the license holder, you would need a license from the Division. For example, if in addition to being a Western Union agent you also offer currency exchange services on your own, you may also need a Currency Exchange License from the Money Services Division.
Are Money Service Businesses required to have a surety bond?
Surety bonds are required for money transmitter licenses. Pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 35-11-215(A) link to https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/title35.php money transmitters must maintain a minimum surety bond of $50,000, plus $10,000 for each location, not to exceed an additional $250,000.
Surety bonds are not required for currency exchange licenses.
How do I request confidential treatment for information that I submit as part of my application to be licensed as a money services business with the Money Services Division?
Information submitted in connection with the application may be subject to disclosure under S.C. Code Ann. § 35-11-530(B)(6)(b). If the applicant wishes to request confidential treatment for information in or related to their application, provide such request in writing at the time the application is submitted. The request must list each item of the application check list for which confidential treatment is requested.
What recent federal regulations impact my application?
Applicants must demonstrate compliance with Title 31 CFR Chapter X link to: https://www.fincen.gov/resources/statutes-regulations/chapter-x regarding anti-money laundering programs and the registration of money service businesses. See FINCEN. https://www.fincen.gov/
How do I verify that my business is licensed as a money service business in South Carolina?
I have recently been approved for a money service business license; when will I receive a license certificate and license number?
The Money Services Division does not issue license certificates or license numbers for money service businesses. The NMLS ID number assigned to your business will be the South Carolina license identifying number.
When does my license expire?
All money transmitter licenses expire on the anniversary of the original licensing date. Currency exchange licenses expire on the biennial anniversary of the original licensing date.
Are there any quarterly reporting requirements for money service businesses?
Yes. Within 45 days after the quarter has ended, the Money Services Division requires that each money transmitter licensee file the Money Services Call Report through the NMLS.
The Money Services Division also requires the money transmitter and currency exchange license holders to report all authorized delegate adjustments (additions, deletions, and modifications) within 45 days after the end of each quarter. The reports must be submitted through the Uniform Authorized Agent Reporting (UAAR) functionality in the NMLS system.