Money Laundering, Terrorism and Financial Institutions - USA Patriot Act Monitor

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11/15/2006 New Payment Methods Often Remain Under Government Radar

In a report on New Payment Methods released on October 13, the Financial Action Task Force discusses risks associated with prepaid cards, electronic purses (stored value cards), internet payment services, mobile payments, and digital precious metals (also called “digital currency”). Some of these methods involve little or no customer identification or verification, meaning that funds can be transferred, often internationally, anonymously. The Report discusses one prepaid card that advertises itself as a “fully anonymous e-currency ATM debit card accepted at over 850,000 ATM machines around the World” and notes that such a card will usually not be apparent to customs and border officials. Typologies described in the New Payment Methods report have been added to the master Red Flag list, 40 pages long, soon to be posted on the CRI website (www.civicresearchinstitute/moneylaundering/index.html). The FATF notes that many governments are as yet largely unaware of the risks associated with these new methods. The FATF report will be the subject of an article in the USA PATRIOT Act Monitor in December.

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