Venmo is blocking some payments mentioning Palestinian relief funds. The company says it’s following the law.
20 May 2021

Some Venmo users are reporting that the PayPal-owned company is preventing them from completing transactions with descriptions mentioning Palestine-related keywords.

Venmo’s customer support inquired about a $50 payment one user received that included the description “Emergency Palestinian Relief Fund,” according to a screenshot the user tweeted.

Venmo said it was “trying to understand… the reference to ‘Palestinian Relief Fund” as well as the “purpose of this payment, including a complete and detailed explanation of what is intended to be paid for and the establishment/location,” according to the screenshot.

Venmo told Insider it was looking into the matter, which it said relates to its obligations under US sanctions laws.

“Venmo takes its regulatory and compliance obligations seriously, including adherence to U.S. economic and trade sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control,” a Venmo spokesperson told Insider, pointing to a blog post about the company’s review process.

That post says Venmo attempts to update users about the status of their payments within 72 hours.

“We strive to balance these obligations with the urgency of our users desire to send humanitarian aid. We understand the importance of these transactions and apologize for any delay that may occur as we work to quickly process payments in compliance with applicable law,” the spokesperson added.

By Tyler Sonnemaker, Insider, 18 May 2021

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