Venmo cites sanctions laws over blocked payments mentioning Palestinian relief funds

Venmo cites sanctions laws over blocked payments mentioning Palestinian relief funds

News
May 18, 2021 by J.D. Smith
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Venmo says that US sanctions laws are behind recent moves to block some payments that include keywords related to Palestine in the description. This week a Twitter user posted a screenshot of a message from Venmo customer support asking about a $50 payment they had received for “Emergency Palestinian Relief Fund.” In the message, Venmo
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Venmo says that US sanctions laws are behind recent moves to block some payments that include keywords related to Palestine in the description.

This week a Twitter user posted a screenshot of a message from Venmo customer support asking about a $50 payment they had received for “Emergency Palestinian Relief Fund.”

In the message, Venmo says: “We’re trying to understand” the reference, the “purpose of this payment, including a complete and detailed explanation of what is intended to be paid for and the establishment/location”.

The payment appears to have been flagged because “Palestinian Relief Fund,” is listed on the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions list.

However, Business Insider notes that payments to the “Palestine Children’s Relief Fund,” which is not on the sanctions list also seem to have been blocked.

A spokesperson tells Business Insider: “Venmo takes its regulatory and compliance obligations seriously, including adherence to US economic and trade sanctions administered by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.”