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How do you build a peer-to-peer payments system?


Answer by Faisal Khan:

Though the question is very deep, here is a brief answer:

  • On a legal level, this would constitute as a money transmitter business, so hence you would need a money transmitter license in 44 states (so far) that require you to be licensed for money transmitter services. You can see a list for example by PayPal here: https://www.paypal-media.com/state_licenses.cfm
  • Here is a blog that I usually follow with regards to the legal aspects of money transmission business – http://www.perkinscoie.com/news/newspubs.aspx (also view their publications list).
  • Here is a good question that was asked on Quora on How hard is it to get a money transmitter license?
  • You also want to pay attention to the FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Unit) – http://www.fincen.gov/financial_institutions/msb/ – you will have to do checks/reporting like: SAR, CTR, AML, KYC, OFAC, etc.
  • From a monetary processing angle, you would need a merchant account to process the card related transactions, especially cash advance transactions
  • Depending on your model, you might also want ACH processing
  • You also need to be careful not to be 'holding' money into any escrow account, as that would require a banking license if you are holding on to the deposits.
  • On a Technical level, it is so nascent to describe, without having some detailed information about your payment processing (paying/receiving processes) and how you have modeled them.

How do you build a peer-to-peer payments system?


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