Vermont Signals Broad Interpretation of Money Transmitter Law
By Jennifer Crowder and Jeremy McLaughlin
Recently, largely due to emerging payment systems and new ways of conducting business online, there has been a trend developing among states that certain activity does not require money transmitter licensing. For example, several states have amended their statutes or issued regulatory guidance to indicate that a license is not needed if an entity is acting as an “agent of the payee” or as a “payment processor,” so long as certain conditions are met. In general, an agent of the payee is an entity that has a contractual relationship with the merchant or other ultimate payee such that payment to that entity constitutes, in effect, final payment. New York, for example, describes it as “any person authorized by a payee to receive funds on behalf of the payee and to deliver such funds received from the payor to the payee.” N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 3, § 406.2(l).