The payment system was suspended after an audit by the UK financial regulator. The funds of thousands of clients, including those from Russia and the CIS, were frozen. We explain how to get access to your money and what services to pay attention to
EPayments announced the blocking of the payment system at the request of the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The service is used by holders of cryptocurrencies, converting them through third-party exchangers. The site is popular in the CIS, now the accounts of thousands of clients have been frozen.
“On February 11, ePayments suspended activity on customer accounts following an FCA audit. The financial regulator has identified deficiencies in anti-money laundering controls. We are actively working with FCA to remedy the situation and are trying to get back to work as soon as possible. We assure that clients' funds are safe, ”the official website of the payment system says.
What is the lock related to and what to do
The blocking of the ePayments service and the freezing of client funds at the moment does not look like something out of the ordinary, says Viktor Pershikov, a leading analyst at 8848 Invest. According to him, taking into account the amount of funds on the accounts of the service and the number of users, the financial authorities of Great Britain will keep the situation with ePayments under special control and upon elimination of violations revealed during the audit, the assets will be unfrozen.
“Right now, you need to be prepared for the fact that ePayments may request additional documents from its users confirming the sources of funds and the feasibility of financial transactions within the framework of this service,” added Pershikov.
Nikita Zuborev, senior analyst at Bestchange.ru, is also confident that there is no cause for concern now. He explained that the payment system did not stop its activity, but only suspended the operations of users at the request of the regulator. Most likely, current events may be related to the EU's Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5), which has already affected many projects related to online payments, Zuborev added.
“For users whose funds have been frozen, we advise you to just wait for the legal conflicts to be corrected. Perhaps we are talking literally about days of waiting. The details of the current situation have not yet been disclosed, but from the official letters of the company it follows that they were forced to suspend activities at the request of FCA and unfreeze users' funds as soon as they eliminate inconsistencies in their current AML system, ”the expert advised.
What services to use now
Victor Pershikov said that now there are several financial organizations that provide services similar to ePayments. The expert recommended paying attention to companies operating in crypto-friendly jurisdictions such as Malta.
“We can highlight, for example, the Papaya service with their BlackCatCard project. This service allows you to store both fiat and crypto assets on a debit card, pay for purchases on the Internet with them and withdraw cash from ATMs of any countries, ”the specialist noted.
Nikita Zuborev said that ePayments is far from the most popular system among the Russian-speaking population. If we talk specifically about buying and selling cryptocurrencies among the audience of the CIS countries, then ePayments is not popular, says analyst Bestchange.ru. He called the main audience of the service members of affiliate marketing systems and various forex brokers, less often freelancers and online business representatives.
“Those who just planned to use ePayments to buy or sell cryptocurrency will have little impact on the blocking. With the exception of traditional bank transfers, Qiwi and Yandex.Money remain popular EPS in operations with cryptocurrencies, ”Zuborev emphasized.
Earlier, due to the entry into force of the fifth EU directive, the Derbit exchange was forced to leave the European Union and start operating from Panama. The new rules, effective January 10, 2020, oblige cryptocurrency firms to identify their customers.