Difference between MTL and MSB?

Many folks get the very basics confused. The difference between an MSB (Money Services Business) and a MTL (Money Transmitter License).

This short video explains the difference.


Hello. My name is Faisal Khan. I am in banking and a payment consultant.

A question someone asked me is what’s the difference between an MSB license and a money transmitter license. MSB stands for money services business. It’s a classification, it’s a categorization. An MTL, money transmitter license, is the actual license itself. This scenario applies particularly to the United States and United States only. If you are a business that is somehow dealing in monetary services or financial services, services that makes you an intermediary then most likely you or your state are obviously under the particular rulings and categories that you may be under, you may be required by that particular state to be licensed as an MSB a money services business.

When it comes to the license that an MSB is issued that is a money transmitter license. So an MTL is actually a subset of the MSB umbrella. MSB is the greater category and MTL is a money transmitter license issued under it. Under an MSB there are many categories. Just to name a few, check cashers, payday loan payers, money transmitters etc. but MTLs are the ones that is the category where a licence is issued specifically for money transmission and the broader category is money services business.

There is no such thing as a you know you possess an MSB licence and an MTL is going to be separate. No. If you have an MTL license, you are a money services business. That’s under the category, which is a subcategory of the money services business.

I hope I was able to explain that. Till next time, have a good one.

This page was last updated on September 1, 2022.

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