Following a process taking several years, PAVIS Payments, a wholly owned subsidiary of PAVIS GmbH, has successfully implemented all requirements for payment service providers as laid out by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). This means that processes for the payment of patent annuity and trademark renewal fees are in conformance with BaFin regulations and legal requirements according to the Payment Services Supervision Act (Zahlungsdiensteaufsichtsgesetz, ZAG), which came into force in January 2018. Consequently, PAVIS Payments is the very first IP services provider to fully comply with these requirements and authorised to act as a "payment service provider".
Thomas Gruber, Managing Director of PAVIS GmbH and PAVIS Payments GmbH, explains: "The Payment Services Supervision Act has put our business model to an important test when it came into force. As a global service provider for recurring fee payments to patent and trademark offices on behalf of patent and trademark owners, we were obliged to modify our transactions in accordance with BaFin requirements. Working in close cooperation with the BaFin authority, external consultants and our more than 1,400 customers, we set up all financial transaction processes in our new subsidiary PAVIS Payments in compliance with all rules. We are the first service provider in the IP industry to complete this extensive process successfully."
High BaFin entry barriers successfully mastered
BaFin places high demands on payment service providers in order to protect financial services customers and prevent fraud. As a result, the beginning of the process involves an extensive examination of the professional suitability of the company and its owners. "PAVIS has been operating for 40 years as a rock-solid and economically sound payment service provider in the IP sector and was able to overcome these barriers without any problems," says Thomas Gruber.
Strict legal requirements also apply to the internal management of payment flows. Unlike banks, payment service providers do not have to participate in deposit protection. However, all payments must be processed transparently via a collective trust account. "We have established PAVIS Payments as a separate subsidiary in order to secure all of our customers' incoming payments in the event that the parent company becomes insolvent," says Gruber.
‘Know your customer’ process for 1,400 customers
Further measures for the implementation of BaFin rules include a control system with internal and external auditors, a final audit and the implementation of a consistent four eye principle in the company. In order to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, PAVIS Payments is also obliged to obtain extensive information about its active business customers: "The KYC 'know your customer' process is certainly the most elaborate part of the BaFin certification. We currently collect detailed company data from our more than 1,400 customers, right down to the shareholding structure, which we have to provide to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) - the central office for financial transaction investigations in Germany - in the event of any suspicions under the Money Laundering Act," explains Gruber. "We are proud that all our clients undergo this process in full, including China."
With the successful certification as a payment service provider, PAVIS Payments is further extending its leading position in the field of IP services. "Not only do we have decades of experience in this area, but we are now a market participant acting in a completely legally secure, transparent and compliant manner," emphasises PAVIS Payments Managing Director Thomas Gruber.
About PAVIS Payments
PAVIS Payments GmbH is a subsidiary of PAVIS GmbH and was established in 2018 to provide compliant payment services to PAVIS GmbH's clients.
PAVIS is a leading global provider of IP management services. For more than 40 years, PAVIS has been serving IP professionals in private practice and corporates of all sizes. Innovative technical solutions, optimised processes and a high degree of automation have made PAVIS one of the most efficient and reliable IP management service provider with a focus on patent and trademark renewals and related services.