Georgia Creates New Merchant Acquirer Limited Purpose Bank Charter

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On March 28, 2012, Governor Nathan Deal signed into law the Georgia Merchant Acquirer Limited Purpose Bank Act. The Act, which became effective upon signing, creates a new state charter for payment card merchant processors. By affording merchant processors bank status as “merchant acquirer limited purpose banks” (MALPBs) and making them eligible for (but not required to obtain) FDIC insurance, the Act is intended to enable MALPBs to obtain membership in payment card networks without a sponsoring bank.

Under the Act, an MALPB may not solicit depositors from the general public or accept deposits from any person other than the MALPB’s controlling shareholder. These deposits may only be made at one location within the state of Georgia and cannot be withdrawn by the depositor for payment by check or similar means to third parties.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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