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FinCEN plan would place more cards under BSA
WASHINGTON (6/23/10)—The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has added prepaid debit cards to the list of financial services covered by the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). The proposed rule applies to non-bank/credit union providers of prepaid access. FinCEN Director James Freis said that the rule, which will apply to cards, cell phones, electronic serial numbers, key fobs, and other funding sources that have been paid for beforehand, would address “vulnerabilities in the current prepaid access environment while maintaining the flexibility to permit new developments in technology, markets and consumer behavior.” FinCEN in the release said that the changes aim to address “regulatory gaps” that have grown as prepaid financial services have increased and became more complex. “The ease with which prepaid access can be obtained, combined with the potential for relatively high velocity of money through accounts involving prepaid access and anonymous use, may make it particularly attractive to illicit actors,” the release added. FinCEN hopes to remedy these situations by altering some terminology and imposing registration, suspicious activity reporting, and recordkeeping requirements on prepaid financial service providers. FinCEN will exempt some low-risk forms of prepaid financial products from these requirements, however. For the full FinCEN release, use the resource link.
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