Electronic money is a financial instrument that allows you to make payments or money transfers with an electronic device.
Money in cash, in a current account or on a charge or credit card is stored on an electronic device with appropriate storage memory, such as a physical card, virtual card, mobile phone or computer. You can make payments up to the total amount of money stored on the device.
You can use electronic money to:
- Pay online. In addition to the security features of the device used (card, phone, etc) you also have the guaranteed that payments can only be made up to the amount preloaded on the device.
- Make small payments with ease, as electronic money is accepted as a means of payment by many businesses (for instance, paying for a bus ticket using a mobile phone or paying at a restaurant or shop).
Banks and other electronic money institutions:
What are the main features of electronic money institutions (EMIs)?
- They may not receive a higher amount of funds than the monetary value of electronic money issued.
- They are licensed by the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs, on the basis of an opinion from the Banco de España.
- They cannot operate without a licence or without being correctly registered.
- They are registered, monitored ans supervised by the Banco de España.
- They are regulated by Law 21/2011 (in Spanish).
Find out more about electronic money in our 2020 Complaints Report (in Spanish) (89 KB)