Saudi Arabia is reportedly banning the use of CASHU cards – prepaid cards intended to make internet transactions safer for customers – claiming they could be misused for money laundering and terror financing.
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (Sama) is understood to have instructed the Ministry of Commerce and Investment to ban the distribution of CASHU cards within the kingdom, according to Saudi Gazette.
Any retailers found to have violated the ban will face stiff penalties, the newspaper said.
Sama reportedly took action after the central bank raised concerns that it could not properly monitor transactions involving the cards.
CASHU works by enabling customers to create a CASHU account through which they buy credit for their cards. They can then pay for transactions online without having to give their credit cards details or any other personal information.
Because it is unable to link CASHU transactions with particular bank accounts, the Saudi central bank fears the cards could be misused for money laundering purposes or financing terrorist operations.
In a circular to the commerce ministry, Sama said that only banks in the kingdom are allowed to issue prepaid cards in accordance with specific rules and regulations issued by the agency.
CASHU was set up in 2002 by Maktoob, now called Yahoo. On its website, it claims its customers’ money is protected from online fraud through advanced and secure technology.
Saudi Gazette quoted CASHU as saying: “Our payment platform is built on and encapsulates the most sophisticated, up-to-date fraud prevention and anti-money laundering systems reducing the risks associated with online payments for both buyers and sellers, and allowing for wider, safer and faster consumer participation in e-commerce.”
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