Arab Today, arab today prepaid cards help
Last Updated : GMT 10:51:14
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

For financially excluded

Prepaid Cards, Help

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Prepaid Cards, Help

France attack
Paris - Arab Today

Prepaid payment cards were seen as a positive development, helping those excluded from the banking system and providing a convenient financial tool, but their use in the Paris terror attacks has revealed a troubling dark side.
The attackers used an anonymous prepaid card to rent hotel rooms outside Paris the night before the November 13 strikes that killed 130 people, according to Tracfin, the French body tasked with combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
It was a way to avoid being detected by intelligence agencies.
Prepaid cards have been one of the fastest growing segments of non-cash payments in recent years, and now authorities are concerned they may have become a tool that criminals use to keep their activities hidden and launder their funds.
Stamped with the Visa or MasterCard logo and protected with a PIN code, the cards allow users to withdraw funds at ATMs, as well as make purchases in stores and online.
However, unlike traditional debit cards, they must be charged in advance with funds.
They also don't bear a person's name, and if the amounts are not too large, no name is ever linked with the card.
In Europe it is currently possible to use without showing identification non-rechargeable cards for payments of up to 250 euros ($265) or up to 2,500 euros per year for rechargeable cards.
- Benefits, gifts, wages -
With online bill payments becoming more the norm, as well as the surge in online shopping, access to a payment card of some sort has become crucial in many countries.  
In the United States, they have become ubiquitous as many government benefits are now disbursed to prepaid cards. Some $148 billion was paid out that way last year according to the US Federal Reserve, although cards have to be registered to receive benefit payments.
And more and more US companies have begun issuing their employees prepaid cards to pay wages, thus cutting expenses related to using cheques and avoiding problems with workers who don't have a bank account.
Non-rechargeable cards have gained popularity as gift certificates, with companies also using them to entice or reward clients.
Volkswagen, for example, is offering US owners of its cars caught up in its emission cheating scandal a $500 prepaid Visa card.
In France, prepaid cards have found a niche with parents, as even minors can use them for payments.
"This allows parents to control the finances of their children," says France's Banque Postale, which has offered the cards since 2008.
A survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that a majority of low-income US users of prepaid cards also saw them as a means to control their spending, and avoid stiff overdraft fees that banks charge on traditional cards.
It is hard to say just how popular the cards have become in Europe as authorities don't break out payments by debit or prepaid cards.
However, a 2014 survey by the Bank of Italy found that nearly 17 percent of households had used prepaid cards, or about one in four that used payment cards.
Consulting firm CapGemini, in its latest publicly available report on the sector, estimated that prepaid cards accounted for 11.4 billion transactions worldwide in 2012, or nearly 4 percent of the total.
- 'Untraceable' -
When issued by banks in Europe, the prepaid cards are usually linked to a bank account, thus making recharging convenient and ensuring transactions are traceable.
But EU directives aiming to boost competition opened up the sector to firms outside the banking sector, and 48 were registered, for instance, at the end of 2014 in France.
These companies have been behind the mushrooming of prepaid cards for sale in supermarkets and newsagents.
Available to anyone at least 18 years of age, some of these cards can be recharged with cash at newsagents and used to make transfers abroad.
And all that without having to show an ID.
That is why Bruno Dalles, the head of Tracfin, the French body tasked with combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism, said this past week he would seek to have prepaid card transactions "appear on our radar".
Anonymous prepaid cards "are used in the underground economy, in organised crime," said Dalles. "It is a tool which replaces cash, which is very discrete, untraceable. That is something we need to change."
French authorities have said they plan to reduce the amounts that cards may be charged with before identification becomes mandatory by decree early in 2016.
But if authorities want to fully eliminate the risk of their use by extremist groups,  "...identification should be needed from the first euro", said Frederic Jeannin, chief executive of Ticket Surf, a firm which provides online payment services.
He believes that part of the problem is that firms operating throughout Europe are only monitored in their home base.
Another is that prepaid card issuers also have no idea what the card is used for. When a charge comes through, the issuer sees only the merchant's bank.
Ticket Surf works directly with websites, which means they can monitor payments and shut off sites they suspect to be laundering money.
"It is important to have financial regulations but it is also important that financial institutions pay attention," said Jeannin.

Source: AFP

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today prepaid cards help Arab Today, arab today prepaid cards help

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Nasima Gamei revives Algerian heritage in jewelries

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives Algerian heritage in jewelries
Arab Today, arab today Saudis await visitors but will they come?

GMT 11:54 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Saudis await visitors but will they come?
Arab Today, arab today Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"
Arab Today, arab today Mental conflict endures

GMT 07:36 2017 Friday ,24 February

Mental conflict endures
Arab Today, arab today Media host Mona Iraqi stresses her show's success

GMT 15:32 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Media host Mona Iraqi stresses her show's success

GMT 11:26 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Dutch corporate takeover defences tough to breach

GMT 11:14 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Lloyds Banking Group posts surging profits

GMT 10:01 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Egypt pound rebounds from flotation slide

GMT 09:57 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Greece agrees to bailout reforms compromise

GMT 09:55 2017 Monday ,20 February

Thailand 2016 growth up but below junta target

GMT 09:29 2017 Monday ,20 February

Kraft Heinz withdraws bid for Unilever

GMT 09:22 2017 Monday ,20 February

China's huge debt poses big headache for central bank
View News in Arabic - Business: أخبار الأعمال
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today To hold social dialogue over secondary school

GMT 07:43 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

To hold social dialogue over secondary school
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Nissan enhances sales in most markets

GMT 14:08 2017 Monday ,20 February

Nissan enhances sales in most markets
Arab Today, arab today Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return
Arab Today, arab today Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 05:19 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Salma Rashid happy for 'A Whisper of Love'

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 20:02 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories

GMT 15:53 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 23:29 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Home built on sand castles-style costs $8m

GMT 07:51 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Mom's immune system accepts babies

GMT 17:46 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Tourist guide reveals methods of tourist attractions

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 12:22 2017 Monday ,20 February

Kanye West puts hijab-wearing model
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday