The current rules amended in 1999 by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network revised the regulatory definitions of certain non-bank financial institutions for purposes of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and grouped the definitions into a separate category of financial institution called “money services businesses” or “MSBs.” A business that meets one or more of the definitions of a type of MSB (as currently defined) is an MSB and must comply with BSA requirements applicable to it as an MSB, as a financial institution and as a specific type of MSB.

The capacities in which a business might be acting that could bring it within the definition of an MSB are:

Product or Service Capacity (Type of MSB)
Money Orders Issuer of money orders; Seller of money orders; Redeemer of money orders
Traveler’s Checks Issuer of traveler’s checks; Seller of traveler’s checks; Redeemer of traveler’s checks
Money Transmission Money transmitter
Check Cashing Check casher
Currency Exchange Dealer in foreign exchange
Currency Dealing Dealer in foreign exchange
Prepaid Access Provider of Prepaid Access; Seller of Prepaid Access

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