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Beware Bizarre Bizum Issues: Why Banks Read Transfer Concepts And Can Call Us If We Put Something Weird

Banks read Bizum affairs. Even They call to ask for explanations if something does not suit them, such as a subject that makes jokes about terrorism, corruption or illegal matters. There are many, many examples, from “weapons for the holy fight in Syria” to paying for “the Alqaeda fee.” We leave in your imagination the possibilities that can attract the attention of banks.

Why do banks read the concepts of transfers? Shouldn’t they be a private matter as if it were part of a conversation between two people? The answer is that it shouldn’t surprise us since The only thing banks are doing is complying with the law.

It is the money laundering prevention department doing its job

The different banks consulted by Xataka point in the same direction: they are complying with their obligations under the 10/2010 regulation for the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

“These regulations oblige entities such as banks, businesses, means of payment and others to monitor transactions that may be suspected of laundering or financing terrorism. As there are millions that are carried out, they apply automatisms to detect patterns or keywords, and anything that sounds weird has to generate an alert, be verified and if it is the case, communicated to the corresponding entities “, he explains to us Jorge Morell Ramos, Legaltechies lawyer specialized in law and technology. “Therefore all the joke messages of this type that are put in Bizum payments or in general, have the potential to generate an alert, call the customer and check the assumption.”

It is therefore not a question of boredom for banks, but there are entire departments to detect fraud. The usual thing is that when a concept can induce some illegal activity, these departments contact the person to ask for more details about it and therefore carry out their functions to avoid possible illegality. The criterion of when it is decided to call for a specific matter is in the hands of the people of the department, they explain to us from several of the consulted banks.

As many of us can imagine, the number of jokes through Bizum is enormous, given the large number of transfers that are made. To the extent that “a bank in Germany asked its customers to stop doing it as it generated extra work for them and the system collapsed “, Morrel explains, in relation to the case reported by Stefan Marotzke, spokesman for the German Association of Savings and Money Banks (DGSV).” For the cocaine “,” Thank you for the kidney “or” Plutonium suitable for weapons “, were some of the issues that led the banks to have to initiate an investigation process.

In Spain, there is the SEPBLAC (Executive Service of the Commission for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Monetary Offenses) as the body in charge of controlling transfers, but the responsibility by law lies with each bank or payment service.

This is a serious matter whereby banks can lose their license if the necessary measures are not applied. By the end of 2020, the former director of ING was prosecuted for the money laundering scandal due to the fact that under his mandate it was shown that “huge cuts had been made extremely damaging to the department has been fighting money laundering since Hamers became CEO in 2014 “and alerts from its chief risk officer, among others, were ignored, paving the way for the influence of lucrative but criminal clients.”

If we look at the corporate policy of banks such as Caixabank, it can be seen that the department for the prevention of money laundering establishes customer profiles based on their risk and explains that in particular “operations that show a Obvious lack of correspondence with the nature, volume of activity or operational history of the clients“.

The SEPBLAC has a document dated 2008 with types of money laundering that differentiates between sectors, from real estate corruption to nationals of Asian countries, through nationals of former Soviet republics to politically exposed persons.

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From Bizum they explain that the application “does not consult the matters of the operations carried out nor does it apply any filter on them. Bizum is within the banking applications of the entities and it is they who apply the security measures in their online banking according to their policy, measures that are the same as those applied to other financial products such as ordinary transfers “.

What does Data Protection have to say about it?

“One of the legitimizing bases for processing personal data is compliance with a legal obligation, which would be the case. The banking entity has an obligation to fight against the financing of terrorism or money laundering, and therefore, a One of these measures, among many others, is to detect concepts in those Bizum that could mean that money laundering or financing “, explains Samuel Parra, an expert lawyer in privacy and Data Protection.

“In addition, the money laundering regulations itself It already establishes in its article 32 bis that the consent of the interested parties is not required so that the subjects bound by said law process the personal data necessary to comply with their obligation of due diligence “, continues Parra.

“Regarding the transfer of the data associated with the transfer, it is protected because in the end it is the execution of the contract, and they inform you. That the issue of transparency is important,” he points out. Sergio Carrasco, ICAIB lawyer.