Arkansas Money Transmitter Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
March 8, 2021
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help businesses obtain Arkansas Money Transmitter Bonds
At a Glance:
- Average Cost: Between 1.5% to 7.5% of the bond amount per year based on the money transmitter’s credit
- Bond Amount: $50,000 plus an additional $10,000 per branch office, to a maximum of $300,000
- Who Needs It: All individuals and business entities seeking to obtain a money transmitter license in the State of Arkansas
- Purpose: To ensure the public will receive compensation for any damages should the money transmitter fail to comply with licensing law
- Who Regulates Money Transmitters in Arkansas: The Arkansas Securities Department
Arkansas Statute 23-55-201 requires money transmitters operating in the state to obtain a license with the State Securities Department. The Arkansas legislature enacted the licensing laws and regulations to ensure that money transmitters engage in ethical business practices. In order to provide financial security for the enforcement of the licensing law, money transmitters must purchase and maintain a money transmitter surety bond to be eligible for licensure.
What is the Purpose of the Arkansas Money Transmitter Bond?
Arkansas requires businesses to purchase the Money Transmitter Bond as part of the application process to obtain a money transmitter license. The bond ensures that the public will receive compensation for financial harm if the transmitter fails to comply with the licensing regulations. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the transmitter breaks licensing laws.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain an Arkansas Money Transmitter Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining an Arkansas Money Transmitter Bond easy. Simply login to your account and use our keyword search to find the “transmitter” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone (800) 438-1162, email or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
At BondExchange, our 40 years of experience, leading technology, and access to markets ensures that we have the knowledge and resources to provide your clients with fast and friendly service whether obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.
Is a Credit Check Required for the Arkansas Money Transmitter Bond?
Surety companies will run a credit check on the money transmitter to determine eligibility and pricing for the Arkansas Money Transmitter bond. Transmitters with excellent credit and work experience can expect to receive the best rates. Transmitters with poor credit may be declined by some surety companies or pay higher rates. The credit check is a “soft hit”, meaning that the credit check will not affect the transmitter’s credit.
How Much Does the Arkansas Money Transmitter Bond Cost?
The Arkansas Money Transmitter surety bond can cost anywhere between 1.5% to 7.5% of the bond amount per year. Insurance companies determine the rate based on a number of factors including your customer’s credit score and experience. The chart below offers a quick reference for the approximate bond cost on a $50,000 bond requirement.
$50,000 Money Transmitter Bond Cost
|Credit Score||Bond Cost (1 year)|
|650 – 799||$1,000|
|600 – 649||$2,000|
|550 – 599||$3,750|
*The credit score ranges do not include other factors that may result in a change to the annual premium offered to your customers, including but not limited to, years of experience and underlying credit factors contained within the business owner’s credit report.
How Does Arkansas Define “Money Transmission”?
Arkansas Statute 23-55-102 defines money transmission as “selling or issuing payment instruments, stored value, or receiving money or monetary value for transmission.” The term does not include “providing delivery services such as courier or package delivery services or acting as a mere conduit for the transmission of data.”
How Do Money Transmitters Apply for a License in Arkansas?
Businesses in Arkansas must navigate several steps to secure their Money Transmitter license. Below are the general guidelines, but businesses should refer to the licensing statutes for details on the process.
License Period – The Arkansas Money Transmitter License expires on December 31 of each year and must be renewed before the expiration date
Step 1 – Meet the Net Worth Requirements
Applicants for the Arkansas Money Transmitter License must first amass a company net worth (assets – liabilities) of at least $50,000. Businesses must submit financial statements verifying their net worth when submitting their license application.
Step 2 – Request a NMLS Account
The Arkansas Money Transmitter License application is submitted electronically through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS). To submit a license application, applicants must first request to obtain an NMLS account.
Step 3 – Complete the Application
- A list of all proposed authorized delegates and the location they will conduct business activities
- A sample contract used by any authorized delegates to form a contractual agreement with consumers
- The contact information of employees who work in the following areas:
- Exam Billing
- Consumer Complaint (Public)
- Exam Delivery
- Consumer Complaint
- Pre-Exam Contact
- A business plan containing the following information:
- Marketing strategies
- Target markets
- Fee schedule
- Operating structure the licensee intends to employ
- A Certificate of Authority
- A Certificate of Resolution
- A flow of funds structure detailing the flow of funds starting from the first interaction with the consumer to when the money is received by the beneficiary
All first time applicants must pay the following fees when submitting their license application:
- $750 licensing fee
- $1,500 application fee
Step 4 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Money Transmitters must purchase a surety bond with the following limit:
- $50,000 plus an additional $10,000 per branch office, to a maximum of $300,000
How Do Businesses Renew The Arkansas Money Transmitter License?
Money transmitters can renew their license online through the NMLS. License holders need to simply login to their account to access their renewal application. The Arkansas Money Transmitter License expires on December 31 of each year and must be renewed before the expiration date.
What Are the Insurance Requirements for the Arkansas Money Transmitter License?
The State of Arkansas does not require businesses to obtain any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a Money Transmitter License. Businesses must purchase and maintain a money transmitter surety bond.
How Do Arkansas Money Transmitters File Their Bond?
Money transmitters should submit the completed bond form, including the power of attorney, electronically through the NMLS. The money transmitter surety bond requires signatures from both the surety company that issues the bond and the money transmitter. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- Legal name and address of entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name and address
- Bond amount
- Date the bond is signed
What Can Businesses Do to Avoid Claims Against the Arkansas Money Transmitter Bond?
To avoid claims on the Money Transmitter Bond, businesses must follow all license regulations in the state, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:
- Do not engage, or allow representatives of the business to engage, in any acts of fraud
- Do not engage in criminal activity such as money laundering
- Ensure the full payment of all funds to users of your service
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Money Transmitters in Arkansas?
Arkansas does not require money transmitters to obtain any form of liability insurance. However, most reputable businesses will seek to obtain this insurance anyway. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue liability insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Arkansas Money Transmitter Customers?
The NMLS conveniently provides a public database to search for active money transmitters in Arkansas. The database can be accessed here. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.
What other Financial Service Bonds are Required in Arkansas?
Arkansas requires businesses to purchase specific bonds correlating with their license type. Below are all the different financial services bonds required by the State of Arkansas: