USA Statutes : minnesota
Title : BANKING
Chapter : Minnesota money transmitters act
This chapter may be cited as the "Minnesota Money Transmitters Act."
53B.02 License required.
On or after January 1, 2002, no person except those exempt pursuant to section 53B.04 shall engage in the business of money transmission without a license as provided in this chapter. A licensee may conduct business in this state at one or more locations, directly or indirectly owned, or through one or more authorized delegates, or both, under a single license granted to the licensee.
Subdivision 1. Scope. For purposes of this chapter, the definitions in this section apply unless the context requires otherwise.
Subd. 2. Applicant. "Applicant" means a person filing an application for a license under this chapter.
Subd. 3. Authorized delegate. "Authorized delegate" means an entity designated by the licensee under this chapter, or by an exempt entity, to sell or issue payment instruments or engage in the business of transmitting money on behalf of a licensee.
Subd. 4. Commissioner. "Commissioner" means the commissioner of commerce.
Subd. 5. Control. "Control" means ownership of, or the power to vote, ten percent or more of the outstanding voting securities of a licensee or controlling person. For purposes of determining the percentage of a licensee controlled by any person, the person's interest must be aggregated with the interest of any other person controlled by the person or by any spouse, parent, or child of the person.
Subd. 6. Controlling person. "Controlling person" means any person in control of a licensee.
Subd. 7. Electronic instrument. "Electronic instrument" means a card or other tangible object for the transmission or payment of money that contains a microprocessor chip, magnetic stripe, or other means for the storage of information, that is prefunded and for which the value is decreased upon each use. The term does not include a prepaid telephone card, electronic benefits transfer card, or any other card or other tangible object that is redeemable by the issuer in the issuer's goods or services.
Subd. 8. Executive officer. "Executive officer" means the licensee's president, chair of the executive committee, senior officer responsible for the licensee's business, chief financial officer, and any other person who performs similar functions.
Subd. 9. Exempt entity. "Exempt entity" means a person to which this chapter does not apply under section 53B.04.
Subd. 10. Key shareholder. "Key shareholder" means any person, or group of persons acting in concert, who is the owner of ten percent or more of any voting class of an applicant's stock.
Subd. 11. Licensee. "Licensee" means a person licensed under this chapter.
Subd. 12. Material litigation. "Material litigation" means any litigation in which an applicant or a licensee has been a defendant or been named in a civil judgment involving claims of fraud, misrepresentation, conversion, mismanagement of funds, breach of fiduciary duty, or breach of contract.
Subd. 13. Money transmission. "Money transmission" means selling or issuing payment instruments or engaging in the business of receiving money for transmission or transmitting money within the United States or to locations abroad by any and all means, including but not limited to payment instrument, wire, facsimile, or electronic transfer.
Subd. 14. Outstanding payment instrument. "Outstanding payment instrument" means any payment instrument issued by the licensee that has been sold in the United States directly by the licensee or any payment instrument issued by the licensee that has been sold by an authorized delegate of the licensee in the United States, and that has not yet been paid by or for the licensee.
Subd. 15. Payment instrument. "Payment instrument" means any electronic or written check, draft, money order, travelers check, or other electronic or written instrument or order for the transmission or payment of money, sold or issued to one or more persons, whether or not the instrument is negotiable. The term does not include any credit card voucher, letter of credit, or instrument that is redeemable by the issuer in goods or services.
Subd. 16. Permissible investments. "Permissible investments" means:
(2) certificates of deposit or other debt obligations of a financial institution, either domestic or foreign;
(3) bills of exchange or time drafts drawn on and accepted by a commercial bank, otherwise known as bankers' acceptances, that are eligible for purchase by member banks of the Federal Reserve System;
(4) any investment bearing a rating of one of the three highest grades as defined by a nationally recognized organization that rates these securities;
(5) investment securities that are obligations of the United States, its agencies or instrumentalities, or obligations that are guaranteed fully as to principal and interest of the United States, or any obligations of any state, municipality, or any political subdivision of a state or municipality;
(6) shares in a money market mutual fund, interest-bearing bills or notes or bonds, debentures, or a fund composed of one or more permissible investments;
(7) any demand borrowing agreement or agreements made to a corporation or a subsidiary of a corporation whose capital stock is listed on a national exchange;
(8) receivables that are due to a licensee from its authorized delegates under a contract described in section 53B.20, that are not past due or doubtful of collection; or
(9) any other investments or security device approved by the commissioner.
Subd. 17. Person. "Person" means any individual, corporation, limited liability company, business trust, general or limited partnership, association, sole proprietorship, or similar organization.
Subd. 18. Remit. "Remit" means either to make direct payment of the funds to the licensee or its representatives authorized to receive those funds or to deposit the funds in a bank, credit union, savings association, or other similar financial institution in an account specified by the licensee.
Authorized delegates of a licensee or of an exempt entity, acting within the scope of authority conferred by a written contract as described in section 53B.20, are not required to obtain a license under this chapter. This chapter does not apply to:
(1) the United States or any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States;
(2) the United States Postal Service;
(3) the state or any political subdivision of the state;
(4) banks, credit unions, savings associations, savings banks, mutual banks organized under the laws of any state or the United States, or bank holding companies which have a banking subsidiary located in Minnesota and whose debt securities have an investment grade rating by a national rating agency, provided that if they issue or sell payment instruments through authorized delegates who are not banks, bank holding companies, credit unions, savings associations, savings banks, or mutual banks, those authorized delegates must comply with all requirements imposed upon authorized delegates under this chapter; and
(5) the provision of electronic transfer of government benefits for any federal, state, or county governmental agency as defined in Federal Reserve Board Regulation E, by a contractor for and on behalf of the United States or any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States, or any state or any political subdivision of the state.
53B.05 License qualifications.
Subdivision 1. Net worth. Each licensee engaging in money transmission in three or fewer locations in the state, either directly or through authorized delegates, must have a net worth of at least $25,000. Each licensee engaging in money transmission at more than three locations in the state, but fewer than seven locations, either directly or through authorized delegates, must have a net worth of at least $50,000. Each licensee engaging in money transmission at more than six locations in the state, either directly or through authorized delegates, shall have a net worth of $100,000 and an additional net worth of $50,000 for each location or authorized delegate located in the state in excess of seven, to a maximum of $500,000. Net worth shall be calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
Subd. 2. Corporate applicant; good standing. Every corporate applicant, at the time of the filing of an application for a license under this chapter and at all times after a license is issued, must be in good standing in the state of its incorporation. All noncorporate applicants shall, at the time of the filing of an application for a license under this chapter and at all times after a license is issued, be registered or qualified to do business in the state.
53B.06 Permissible investments and statutory trust.
(a) Each licensee under this chapter must at all times possess permissible investments having an aggregate market value, calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, of not less than the aggregate face amount of all outstanding payment instruments sold by the licensee or reported as sold by an authorized delegate in the United States. This requirement may be waived by the commissioner if the dollar volume of a licensee's outstanding payment instruments does not exceed the bond or other security devices posted by the licensee under section 53B.08.
(b) Permissible investments, even if commingled with other assets of the licensee, are considered to be held in trust for the benefit of the purchasers and holders of the licensee's outstanding payment instruments in the event of the bankruptcy of the licensee.
53B.07 License application.
Subdivision 1. Requirements. An application for a license under this chapter must be made in writing, under oath, and in a form prescribed by the commissioner.
Subd. 2. General contents. An application must contain:
(1) the exact name of the applicant, the applicant's principal address, any fictitious or trade name used by the applicant in the conduct of its business, and the location of the applicant's business records;
(2) the history of the applicant's or any controlling person's material litigation during the preceding ten years and criminal convictions;
(3) a description of the activities conducted by the applicant and a history of operations;
(4) a description of the business activities in which the applicant seeks to be engaged in the state;
(5) a list identifying the applicant's proposed authorized delegates in the state, if any, at the time of the filing of the license application;
(6) a sample authorized delegate contract, if applicable;
(7) a sample form of payment instrument, if applicable;
(8) the location or locations at which the applicant and its authorized delegates, if any, propose to conduct the licensed activities in the state; and
(9) the name, address, and account numbers for the clearing bank or banks on which the applicant's payment instruments will be drawn or through which these payment instruments will be payable.
Subd. 3. Additional information from corporations. If the applicant is a corporation, the applicant must also provide:
(1) the date of the applicant's incorporation and state of incorporation;
(2) a certificate of good standing from the state in which the applicant was incorporated;
(3) a description of the corporate structure of the applicant, including the identity of any parent or subsidiary of the applicant, and the disclosure of whether any parent or subsidiary is publicly traded on any stock exchange;
(4) the name, business and residence address, and employment history for the past five years of the applicant's executive officers and the officers or managers who will be in charge of the applicant's activities to be licensed under this chapter;
(5) the name, business and residence address, and employment history for the period five years prior to the date of the application of any key shareholder of the applicant;
(6) the history of material litigation during the preceding ten years and criminal convictions of every executive officer or key shareholder of the applicant;
(7) a copy of the applicant's most recent audited financial statement, including balance sheet, statement of income or loss, statement of changes in shareholder equity, and statement of changes in financial position, and, if available, the applicant's audited financial statements for the immediately preceding two-year period. However, if the applicant is a wholly owned subsidiary of another corporation, the applicant may submit either the parent corporation's consolidated audited financial statements for the current year and for the immediately preceding two-year period or the parent corporation's Form 10K reports filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for the prior three years in lieu of the applicant's financial statements. If the applicant is a wholly owned subsidiary of a corporation having its principal place of business outside the United States, similar documentation filed with the parent corporation's non-United States regulator may be submitted to satisfy this provision; and
(8) copies of all filings, if any, made by the applicant with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or with a similar regulator in a country other than the United States, within the year preceding the date of filing the application.
Subd. 4. Additional information from noncorporate applicants. If the applicant is not a corporation, the applicant must also provide:
(1) the name, business and residence address, personal financial statement, and employment history for the past five years, of each principal of the applicant and the name, business and residence address, and employment history for the past five years of any other person or persons who will be in charge of the applicant's activities to be licensed under this chapter;
(2) the place and date of the applicant's registration or qualification to do business in this state;
(3) the history of material litigation during the preceding ten years and criminal convictions for each individual having any ownership interest in the applicant and each individual who exercises supervisory responsibility with respect to the applicant's activities; and
(4) copies of the applicant's audited financial statements, including balance sheet, statement of income or loss, and statement of changes in financial position, for the current year and, if available, for the immediately preceding two-year period.
Subd. 5. Waiver. The commissioner may, for good cause shown, waive any requirement of this section with respect to any license application or to permit a license applicant to submit substituted information in its license application in lieu of the information required by this section.
53B.08 Bond or other security device.
Subdivision 1. Requirement. Each application must be accompanied by a surety bond, irrevocable letter of credit, or other similar security device acceptable to the commissioner in the amount of $25,000. If the applicant proposes to engage in business under this chapter at more than three locations, but less than seven locations, through authorized delegates or otherwise, then the amount of the security device must be increased to $50,000. If the applicant proposes to engage in business under this chapter at more than six locations, through authorized delegates or otherwise, then the amount of the security device must be increased by $50,000 for each location over six, up to a maximum of $250,000. The security device must be in a form satisfactory to the commissioner and must run to the state for the benefit of any claimants against the licensee to secure the faithful performance of the obligations of the licensee with respect to the receipt, handling, transmission, and payment of money in connection with the sale and issuance of payment instruments or transmission of money. In the case of a bond, the aggregate liability of the surety in no event shall exceed the principal sum of the bond. Claimants against the licensee may themselves bring suit directly on the security device or the commissioner may bring suit on behalf of these claimants, either in one action or in successive actions.
Subd. 2. Acceptable alternatives. In lieu of a security device under subdivision 1 or of any portion of the principal of the security device, as required by subdivision 1, the licensee may deposit with the commissioner, or with banks in this state that the licensee designates and the commissioner approves, cash, interest-bearing stocks and bonds, notes, debentures, or other obligations of the United States or any agency or instrumentality of the United States, or guaranteed by the United States, or of this state, or of a city, county, town, village, school district, or instrumentality of this state, or guaranteed by this state, to an aggregate amount, based upon principal amount or market value, whichever is lower, of not less than the amount of the security device or portion of the security device. The securities or cash must be deposited and held to secure the same obligations as would the security device. The depositor shall receive all interest and dividends. The depositor may, with the approval of the commissioner, substitute other securities for those deposited, and is required to do so on written order of the commissioner made for good cause shown.
Subd. 3. Cancellation. The security device remains in effect until cancellation, which may occur only after 30 days' written notice to the commissioner. Cancellation does not affect the rights of any claimant for any liability incurred or accrued during the period for which the bond was in force.
Subd. 4. Duration. The security device must remain in place for no longer than five years after the licensee ceases money transmission operations in the state. However, notwithstanding this provision, the commissioner may permit the security device to be reduced or eliminated before that time to the extent that the amount of the licensee's payment instruments outstanding in this state are reduced. The commissioner may also permit a licensee to substitute a letter of credit or other form of security device acceptable to the commissioner for the security device in place at the time the licensee ceases money transmission operations in the state.
53B.09 Application fee.
Each application must be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee in the amount of $4,000.
53B.10 Issuance of license.
Subdivision 1. Investigation. Upon the filing of a complete application, the commissioner shall investigate the financial condition and responsibility, financial and business experience, character, and general fitness of the applicant. The commissioner may conduct an on-site investigation of the applicant, the reasonable cost of which must be borne by the applicant. If the commissioner finds that the requirements imposed by this chapter have been met and that the required license fee has been paid, the commissioner shall issue a license to the applicant authorizing the applicant to engage in the licensed activities in this state for a term of one year. If these requirements have not been met, the commissioner shall deny the application in writing, setting forth the reasons for the denial.
Subd. 2. Denial hearing. Any applicant aggrieved by a denial issued by the commissioner under this section may at any time within 30 days from the date of receipt of written notice of the denial contest the denial by serving a response on the commissioner. The commissioner shall set a date for a hearing not later than 60 days after service of the response, unless a later date is set with the consent of the denied applicant.
53B.11 Renewal of license and annual report.
Subdivision 1. Fee. The annual fee for renewal of a license under this chapter is $2,500.
Subd. 2. Report. The renewal fee must be accompanied by a report, in a form prescribed by the commissioner. The form must be sent by the commissioner to each licensee no later than three months immediately preceding the date established by the commissioner for license renewal. The licensee must include in this annual renewal report:
(1) a copy of its most recent audited consolidated annual financial statement, including balance sheet, statement of income or loss, statement of changes in shareholder's equity, and statement of changes in financial position, or, in the case of a licensee that is a wholly owned subsidiary of another corporation, the consolidated audited annual financial statement of the parent corporation may be filed in lieu of the licensee's audited annual financial statement;
(2) for the most recent quarter for which data are available prior to the date of the filing of the renewal application, but in no event more than 120 days prior to the renewal date, the licensee must provide the number of payment instruments sold by the licensee in the state, the dollar amount of those instruments, and the dollar amount of those instruments currently outstanding;
(3) any material changes to any of the information submitted by the licensee on its original application that have not previously been reported to the commissioner on any other report required to be filed under this chapter;
(4) a list of the licensee's permissible investments; and
(5) a list of the locations within this state at which business regulated by this chapter is being conducted by either the licensee or its authorized delegate.
Subd. 3. License display. A copy of the license issued by the commissioner to the licensee shall be prominently displayed in each location where money transmission services are offered.
53B.12 Extraordinary reporting requirements.
Within 15 days of the occurrence of any one of the events listed below, a licensee shall file a written report with the commissioner describing the event and its expected impact on the licensee's activities in the state:
(1) the filing for bankruptcy or reorganization by the licensee;
(2) the institution of revocation or suspension proceedings against the licensee by any state or governmental authority with regard to the licensee's money transmission activities;
(3) any felony indictment of the licensee or any of its key officers or directors related to money transmission activities; or
(4) any felony conviction of the licensee or any of its key officers or directors related to money transmission activities.
53B.13 Changes in control of a licensee.
Any purchaser of ten percent or more of an ownership interest in a licensee must notify the commissioner at least 30 days in advance of the purchase and submit a completed license application form. The commissioner may revoke the license if the new ownership would have resulted in a denial of the initial license under this chapter. The commissioner may waive this notification requirement if, in the commissioner's discretion, the change in control does not pose any risk to the interests of the public.
The commissioner has under this chapter the same powers with respect to financial examinations that the commissioner has under section 46.04.
53B.15 Maintenance of records.
Subdivision 1. Requirement. Each licensee shall make, keep, and preserve the following books, accounts, and other records for a period of three years:
(1) a record or records of each payment instrument sold;
(2) a general ledger containing all assets, liability, capital, income, and expense accounts, which must be posted at least monthly;
(3) bank statements and bank reconciliation records;
(4) records of outstanding payment instruments;
(5) records of each payment instrument paid within the three-year period; and
(6) a list of the names and addresses of all of the licensee's authorized delegates.
Subd. 2. Compliance. (a) Any licensee selling money orders shall maintain a record of the date, amount, serial number, and the location of the sale for each money order sold in this state.
(b) Any licensee engaged in the business of receiving money for transmission or transmitting money shall maintain a record of the identity of the remitter, identity of the recipient, amount of the transmission, date of the transaction, date funds were transmitted, and the location from which the funds were remitted for each transaction initiated in this state.
(c) Maintenance of the documents required by this section in a photographic, electronic, or other similar form constitutes compliance with this section.
Subd. 3. Location. Records may be maintained at a location other than within this state if they are made accessible to the commissioner on seven days' written notice.
53B.16 Confidentiality of data submitted to the commissioner.
Data or other information obtained by the commissioner under this chapter, whether as a result of the license application or renewal process or examinations, is subject to chapter 13.
53B.17 Solvency required.
If the commissioner determines that a licensee is insolvent, that its capital is impaired, or that its condition is such as to render the continuance of its business hazardous to the public or to those having funds in its custody, the commissioner may apply to the district court for the county in which the main office is located, or for Ramsey County if the licensee does not have a main office in Minnesota, for appointment of a receiver to receive the assets of the licensee for the purpose of liquidating or rehabilitating its business and for such other relief as the interest of the public may require. The reasonable and necessary expenses of the receivership have priority over all other claims on the bond required by this chapter.
53B.18 Prohibited practices.
No licensee shall:
(1) fail to comply with chapter 345 as it relates to unclaimed property requirements;
(2) refuse to indemnify an instrument holder for any misappropriation of money caused by any of its authorized delegates in conducting activities on behalf of the licensee for whom it acts as an authorized delegate; or
(3) fail to transmit all money received for wire transmission in accordance with the purchaser's instructions within five days.
53B.19 Suspension or revocation of licenses.
After notice and hearing, the commissioner may suspend or revoke a licensee's license if the commissioner finds that:
(1) any fact or condition exists that, if it had existed at the time when the licensee applied for its license, would have been grounds for denying the application;
(2) the licensee's net worth becomes inadequate and the licensee, after ten days' written notice from the commissioner, fails to take steps the commissioner considers necessary to remedy the deficiency;
(3) the licensee violates any material provision of this chapter or any rule or order validly adopted by the commissioner under authority of this chapter;
(4) the licensee is conducting its business in an unsafe or unsound manner;
(5) the licensee is insolvent;
(6) the licensee has suspended payment of its obligations, has made an assignment for the benefit of its creditors, or has admitted in writing its inability to pay its debts as they become due;
(7) the licensee has applied for an adjudication of bankruptcy, reorganization, arrangement, or other relief under any bankruptcy;
(8) the licensee refuses to permit the commissioner to make any examination authorized by this chapter; or
(9) the licensee fails to make any report required by this chapter.
53B.20 Authorized delegate contracts.
Subdivision 1. Contents of contract. Licensees that conduct licensed activities through authorized delegates shall authorize each delegate to operate under an express written contract that, for contracts entered into after August 1, 2001, provide the following:
(1) that the licensee appoint the person as its delegate with authority to engage in money transmission on behalf of the licensee;
(2) that neither a licensee nor an authorized delegate authorize subdelegates without the written consent of the commissioner; and
(3) that licensees are subject to supervision and regulation by the commissioner and that as a part of that supervision and regulation, the commissioner may require the licensee to cancel an authorized delegate contract as a result of a violation of section 53B.21.
Subd. 2. Termination of authorized delegate contract. Upon termination of any authorized delegate contract, the licensee must notify the commissioner within a reasonable amount of time of the termination.
Subd. 3. Exempt entities. For purposes of this section, "licensee" includes exempt entities.
53B.21 Authorized delegate conduct.
(a) An authorized delegate shall not make any fraudulent or false statement or misrepresentation to a licensee or to the commissioner.
(b) An authorized delegate shall conduct its money transmission activities in a safe and sound manner.
(c) An authorized delegate shall cooperate with an investigation conducted by the commissioner under this chapter by providing any relevant information in its possession that the commissioner cannot reasonably obtain from another source.
(d) An authorized delegate is under a duty to act only as authorized under the contract with the licensee and any authorized delegate who exceeds its authority is subject to cancellation of its contract.
(e) All funds, less fees, received by an authorized delegate of a licensee from the sale or delivery of a payment instrument issued by a licensee or received by an authorized delegate for transmission, constitute trust funds owned by and belonging to the licensee from the time the funds are received by the authorized delegate until the time when the funds or an equivalent amount are remitted by the authorized delegate to the licensee. If an authorized delegate commingles any funds with other funds or property owned or controlled by the authorized delegate, all commingled proceeds and other property must be impressed with a trust in favor of the licensee in an amount equal to the amount of the proceeds due the licensee.
(f) For purposes of this section, "licensee" includes exempt entities.
53B.22 Licensee liability.
A licensee's responsibility to any person for a money transmission conducted on that person's behalf by the licensee or the licensee's authorized delegate is limited to the amount of money tendered or the face amount of the payment instrument purchased.
53B.23 Hearings; procedures.
The provisions of the Minnesota Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 14, apply to any hearing under this chapter.
Section 45.027 applies to this chapter.
53B.25 Rule notices.
At the time the commissioner files a notice of proposed adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule adopted under this chapter, a copy of the notice must be sent by regular United States mail, postage prepaid, to all then-current licensees and applicants for licenses under this chapter.
53B.26 Appointment of commissioner as agent for service of process.
Subdivision 1. Consent and appointment. Any licensee, authorized delegate, or other person who knowingly engages in business activities that are regulated under this chapter, with or without filing an application, is considered to have done both of the following:
(1) consented to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state for all actions arising under this chapter; and
(2) appointed the commissioner as the lawful agent for the purpose of accepting service of process in any action, suit, or proceeding that may arise under this chapter.
Subd. 2. Service of process. Service of process must be made in accordance with section 45.028, subdivision 2.