Epayments.com have recently announced that they will be freezing 1 million personal accounts and 1000 business accounts with immediate effect. This will no doubt affect thousands of cammers and online sex workers worldwide who’ve been using their services as their payment method. Particularly so, as they won’t be able to withdraw any cash until further notice.
A distinct lack of information.
As of yet, there’s no end date in sight for the freeze and speculation is rife as to whether they will close their doors or resume trading as normal at some point in the future. Admitting in their press statement that they understand the “frustration” of their customers (though perhaps fury, dismay etc may describe the emotion more adequately), they’ve committed to “work tirelessly to ensure improvements are made and accounts can be reactivated as soon as possible”. Words; sadly. Just vague words alluding to a possibility of further action. In actuality, what the customer base have been given that is in any way tangible doesn’t amount to much at all; an FAQ page to read, and a contact for an undoubtedly overwhelmed customer service team. Not enough. Not by miles.
ePayments following in the footsteps of those who came before them?
Essentially, what ePayments.com are doing is holding peoples’ money to ransom pending the investigation into the money laundering claims. These laundering claims are dubious at best however, and there could well be reason to suspect that this declaration is merely a poorly veiled cover for something else. The shock announcement comes in the wake of an investigation into their business practices by the Financial Conduct Authority. This investigation turned up several weak points in the company’s anti money laundering systems, and so here we are.
So will you get your money?
We’ve seen a few sites and payment processors go down with people’s money before – it’s no joke. It’s so rare that these companies are ever held accountable for their actions either. FirstChoice Pay went down, as did YouKandy (because of FirstChoice taking their cash with them) and Clipvia – each taking peoples liquid assets with them as they tanked. There are clearly some etiquette issues in this field. So, you’ll have to forgive me for my scepticism in believing their claims that normality will resume post-haste after the proverbial shit has been wiped off the fan. Nevertheless, they insist that all customers funds are “safeguarded as normal in line with section 19 of the ePayments terms and conditions”. Some nice sounding legal jargon there… Hopefully there’s substance to it.
More questions than answers.
So, as it stands, they’ve shut down with immediate effect from the 11th of this month, giving absolutely zero notice to their customer base – all the while claiming that they’ve committed no crime and that they’ll reopen soon, “at some point”. But here’s the bit that’s especially baffling for me. Users of ePayments were required to disclose personally identifying information when setting up their account. Surely then it would stand to reason that it would be relatively easy to track down the perpetrators of the alleged money-laundering crime/s? Why shut down everything? It just doesn’t make all that much sense – and given the etiquette we’ve seen from similar companies in the past, I’m suspicious. What if this money laundering thing is merely a cover for an imminent bankruptcy – a last ditch attempt to salvage some cash before the inevitable occurs perhaps? Only time will tell.
Who will this affect?
Potentially, everyone who has cash tied up in their business. The trouble is – this is your cash, it’s my cash, it’s your Domme sisters on Twitters cash. There first needs to be some transparency with the customer base in situations like this. Then, wouldn’t it also make sense to have a legislative safeguard in place so that when stuff like this happens, people are guaranteed to get their cash back. People have bills to pay, after all! Some online Dommes are undoubtedly being affected by this, and what’s worse is that there’s just no clear information out there as to what’s happening and when. As it stands, nobody seems to know anything for sure. Let’s just hope that this all pans out a little better than it has in the past with similar cases, and that nobody innocent loses out because of the actions of a few.