The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has ordered ePayments Systems Ltd, a UK-based electronic payment provider, to cease all operations as part of its Anti-Money Laundering procedures.
Approximately one million accounts have been frozen and customers will be unable to transfer, deal, withdraw or deposit funds, or use their cards. New users are also blocked from creating new accounts.
Representatives from ePayments Systems issued a short statement saying: “Following discussions with the FCA, ePayments has agreed to suspend activity on customer accounts until remedial action has been undertaken to the satisfaction of the FCA.”
The company won’t be allowed to resume its activities until it has put in stricter checks to ensure that its services aren’t being used to assist criminals.
Some of ePayments Systems’ high profile customers include Russian social network Vkontakte and innovative advertising company ExoClick.
It’s unclear how many online dating platforms will be affected but it will certainly have an impact on the way they take payments for premium subscription services.
The UK’s Anti-Money Laundering regulations were updated at the beginning of January and required businesses to “include new additional high-risk factors when assessing the need for enhanced due diligence, and seek additional information and monitoring in certain cases”.
One example of a relevant situation where the authorities could intervene was non-face to face business transactions which don’t have the necessary safeguards.
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