On July 31, 2013, the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance published its first set of proposed regulations to implement the Georgia Merchant Acquirer Limited Purpose Bank Act. The Act, which became effective on March 28, 2012, creates a new state charter for “merchant acquirer limited purpose banks” (MALPBs). These new banks are eligible for (but not required to obtain) FDIC insurance, thereby facilitating their membership in payment card networks (e.g., Visa, MasterCard). It is anticipated that MALPBs will be utilized by payment processors and other participants in the payments industry to avoid the necessity of establishing separate sponsoring arrangements with Visa/MasterCard member banks, or to supplement sponsor bank arrangements.
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