Driving stability and continued expansion is Kazakhstan's payment industry develops and deploys innovative solutions to increase efficiency and consumer awareness. By enabling secure and seamless transactions, they attract investment and reinforce economic foundations.

In an increasingly digitalised business landscape, these functions become even more pertinent. At the forefront of technological progress, payment operators in Kazakhstan provide customers with convenient and modern options.

In present conditions, payment operators represent the bridge between corporations, businesses, and the public — without them, commerce and trade would lose efficiency. For many companies pursuing leadership in Kazakhstan's financial sphere, obtaining a payment operator licence in the AIFC is therefore critical. Issued in Kazakhstan's leading financial centre, such a licence signals transparency, trustworthiness, and commitment to premier service standards.

Specialist legal consultancies can advise on successfully acquiring an AIFC payment licence. Meeting requirements on documentation, technological infrastructure, and finances can be complex — professional support ensures quality and timely receipt of certification. Renewing a licence also confirms one's dedication to continuous improvement.

An AIFC-issued payment operator licence permits operating in a vast market, unlocking new clientele, resources, and partnerships.

Navigating Kazakhstan's payment services legal framework

Operating in global financial markets requires substantive legal knowledge. Kazakhstan's distinct regulatory landscape warrants particular attention, comprising national legislation and the auspices of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC).

I. Core payment services regulation

Robust regulation upholding reliability and sustainability underpins Kazakhstan's financial services and payment activities. Those seeking to operate in this sphere must understand the critical legislative pillars:

  • Payment and Payment Systems Law.

Establishes fundamental payment services principles, rules, systems criteria and licensing protocols. Licencing being the process of securing official permissions to conduct regulated activities. Here, that refers specifically to the provision of payment services.

  • The Law on AIFC.

Governs the AIFC's remit in areas including licensing administration and the granting of permits. Outlines the Centre's core objectives, functions and its interplay with state and non-state entities.

II. Acquiring an AIFC payment licence: rules and licensing requirements

To receive an AIFC payment operator licence, exhaustive corporate documentation must evidence financial stability alongside total adherence to standards and requirements. Applicants undergo extensive business reputation and professional competence assessments, while proving security capabilities regarding payment transactions.

Key criteria for attaining a payment operator permit include:

  • Financial stability. Sufficient resource base for service reliability, quality assurance and crisis resilience.
  • Technological capacity. Cutting-edge, secure equipment and software meeting international security protocols.
  • Personnel expertise. Highly qualified staff guarantee professional, responsive customer service.

However, complexity arises in interpreting legal technicalities. Specialist legal expertise is therefore invaluable for corporate guidance. Even minor documentation errors can create severe issues — including outright licensing rejection or revocation. Prioritising a sophisticated understanding of requirements is key. Our legal team supports all licensing aspects — from document preparation through communicating with regulators. We advise on initial applications, renewals and adapting to legal developments.

The AIFC payment licence application process

Obtaining an AIFC payment operator licence necessitates progression through clearly defined stages, each requiring diligent attention to detail and legal acumen. Many businesses elect to leverage legal support on securing payment licence.

Stage 1. Application submission

The first critical step is preparing and lodging a formal application for the licence.

  • Prior to submission, applicants must validate adherence to AIFC payment operator qualification criteria. Applications must closely follow exact AIFC directives — any errors risk delays or rejection.
  • The application is accompanied by submission of all mandatory documentation, potentially encompassing aspects like articles of incorporation, financial statements, proof of industry experience, and more.

Seeking specialist legal licensing services helps guarantee correct, compliant submission of all materials.

Stage 2. Evaluation and examination

With paperwork filed, the application enters an appraisal phase.

  • AIFC experts thoroughly analyse all submitted documentation to verify alignment with legal stipulations governing AIFC payment operators.
  • Further information or clarifications may be requested — prompt responses can accelerate progression.
  • With documents approved, the focus shifts towards examining operational capabilities and resources for payment processing duties.

Here again, registration support proves critical for liaising with assessors at every step from paperwork to queries.

Statistics indicate entities aided by payment operator licence advisory achieve outcomes 60% faster, with refusal rates reduced 80%.

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Preparing robust documentation for payment licensing

Obtaining payment operator certification obligates applicants to compile and submit expansive documentation — an undoubtedly onerous process, yet risks can be mitigated via strategic preparation.

Key documentation requirements

To ensure market transparency and transaction security, stringent compliance with information and reporting stipulations is enforced. Payment licence applicants in Kazakhstan must therefore submit:

  • Constitutional documentation including Memoranda of incorporation, certificates of registration and charters evidencing legal registration.
  • Financial statements including any data validating financial health and customer obligation capabilities.
  • Operational experience evidence. Agreements, training certificates and documentation underscoring expertise and credentials in payment services.
  • Strategic planning. Materials setting out corporate strategy, innovations, objectives, and roadmaps for goal actualisation.
  • Compliance confirmation. Non-disclosure agreements, data protection compliance and other affirmations of adherence to legislative and regulatory AIFC frameworks.

Notably, requirements are subject to change amid evolving landscapes — regular legal consultations are thus advised. Most AIFC processes now online, permitting quicker, more transparent procedures.

Per existing data, over 70% of first submissions are declined for documentation discrepancies. Many entities consequently opt for specialist registration support — assisting in correct compilation alongside advisory on licensing technicalities.

Taxation for AIFC payment operators

Robust financial health and stringent tax compliance are intrinsic to successfully obtaining and retaining payment services certification within the AIFC. This demands insight into pertinent tax obligations.

Key taxes

  • Income tax rate — 20%
  • VAT rate — 12%
  • Personal income tax rates — 5% to 25% salary dependent

Industry data shows 30% encounter tax-related difficulties — however, strategic support can mitigate most issues through:

  • Tax incentives. Maximise AIFC incentives and reliefs to lower liabilities.
  • Expert guidance. Specialist assistance enables regulatory adherence and risk reduction.
  • Customisation. Tailored consulting based on unique attributes and objectives.

While the AIFC offers enormous potential, calculated navigation of legal and tax technicalities is vital to optimise financial efficiency and competitive positioning. Proactive professional support can successfully unlock these opportunities.

Managing risks for payment operators in the AIFC

As in any jurisdiction, payment operators in the AIFC Kazakhstan market face an array of risks — magnified by regional singularities, client behaviours and regulations. Comprehending and mitigating these threats is fundamental to sustained success.

  • Operational risks. System failures, human error and technological faults may incur substantial financial losses. Approximately 30% of payment issues stem from operational risks.
  • Regulatory risks. Non-compliance with AIFC payment operator licensing rules risks penalties, activity suspension or revoked permissions.
  • Reputational risks. In an interconnected world, negative incidents can rapidly harm market reputation and trustworthiness.
  • Economic risks. Financial fluctuations and instability can jeopardise viability.

Risk management practices

  • Technological innovation. Investing in advanced systems and security enhances operational resilience. Licensing advisors offer guidance on optimal solutions.
  • Auditing and compliance consulting. Proactive internal and third-party auditing alongside regulatory compliance consulting enables quick issue identification and resolution.
  • Insurance protection. Safeguards to mitigate financial losses from unanticipated events.
  • Personnel training. Continuous professional education minimises human error risks and builds competencies.
  • Legal partnerships. Specialist legal allies support regulatory adherence, ensuring licensing retention and avoiding penalties.

Whilst risks exist, concerted mitigation practices combining technology, auditing, training, insurance and legal expertise can enable stable your payment services AIFC's market participation.

Leveraging AIFC support services for payment operators

The AIFC offers an array of services to assist payment operators in efficiently obtaining and retaining licensing certifications:

  • Streamlined application processing with simplified protocols reduces administrative burdens for participants.
  • Experts provide guidance on requirements and queries surrounding registration and ongoing compliance.
  • Automated renewal notifications supplemented by specialist renewal assistance.
  • Regular seminars and webinars covering legal and regulatory developments empower operators to adopt best practices.

By leveraging these AIFC resources, payment services providers can smooth the path to certification and ensure continued excellence through robust understanding of obligations. Keeping abreast of changes also strengthens institutional resilience and compliance. Overall, a comprehensive support framework promotes market accessibility and sustained success.


Kazakhstan presents lucrative prospects within its burgeoning payments sphere, underpinned by the ascending strategic influence of the leading Astana International Financial Centre. Obtaining an AIFC payment operator licence grants access to these opportunities. However, navigating stringent licensing protocols demands methodical preparation including deft management of legal-regulatory complexities, extensive documentation, and taxation vigilance.

Leveraging robust professional support and AIFC assistance resources allows operators to demystify procedural intricacies. Adopting ongoing vigilance around emerging legislation and risk management best practices also ensures sustained compliance and performance. Our article outlined the basics of payment service licensing in AIFC. You can get more detailed information from our subject-matter experts.