Money services businesses (MSB)

Money services businesses (MSBs) are people or businesses that transmit or convert money. MSBs are regulated under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and other anti-money laundering (AML) regulations and must register with FinCEN.

Frequently asked questions

What is considered a money service business?

According to FINCEN, a money service business (MSB) includes:

  • Currency dealers or exchangers
  • Check cashers
  • Money order or traveler’s check issuers, sellers, or redeemers
  • Money transmitters
  • The U.S. Postal Service

Except for the U.S. Postal Service, businesses are only classified as MSBs if they conduct more than $1,000 worth of transactions per person per day.

Why are MSBs high risk?

MSBs are higher risk than their more traditional bank counterparts because ongoing customer relationships are not part of their standard operating model. Customers often use MSBs sparingly and for a specific purpose, meaning MSBs may not conduct the same level of customer due diligence, in turn opening their business activities to potential money laundering.

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