It’s no secret that accessing the New York market is difficult, if not impossible, for some digital asset companies, especially those in their early stages. New York’s Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) is hoping to change that—at least incrementally—with several initiatives it recently announced. Our digital asset team will soon provide a detailed analysis of the initiatives, but in the meantime here is a brief summary:Read More
As of July 1, 2017, the New York Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) is using the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry (“NMLS”) to manage license applications and conduct ongoing regulation of nondepository financial institutions, including money transmitters, doing business in New York. The NMLS website is available here.
The decision by DFS should bring some additional ease to an otherwise cumbersome state-by-state money transmitter licensing regime. Applicants applying for a license in the NMLS system need only fill out a single set of applications for all states that participate (although, of course, individual state licensing requirements still differ). Money transmitters already licensed in New York will be able to transition their licenses to the NMLS system. In a June 29, 2017 press release, available here, DFS stated it had sent letters to each licensee providing detailed instructions on how to accomplish the transition.
DFS has lauded the move to NMLS as bringing efficiency to its regulatory oversight responsibilities, including enhanced consumer protection. According to a May 11, 2017 DFS press release, the move to NMLS will “allow DFS to provide better supervision of the money transmitter industry by linking with other states to protect consumers.”