HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Banking and Securities Robin L. Wiessmann today issued an advisory to Pennsylvania's nonprofit and religious communities about the possible risks to their organizations, members, and stakeholders through the use of unlicensed electronic payment service companies for the purpose of collecting charitable donations.
"Nonprofit organizations and religious communities in Pennsylvania have been approached by companies that promise to electronically collect and process contributions easily and seamlessly for a low fee," stated Wiessmann. "While we are pleased to see this kind of technological innovation developed and implemented for the benefit of donors and charitable causes in Pennsylvania, we also stress that companies offering these services for a fee are required by law to be licensed as money transmitters by the Department of Banking and Securities."
Electronic payment service companies collect banking information from businesses, organizations or communities, as well as banking and other personal information from consumers. In order to protect businesses, organizations, and consumers, Pennsylvania law requires that electronic payment service companies, along with other money transmitters, maintain a minimum net worth of $500,000 and carry a $1 million bond. Proper licensure of all money transmitters assists state and federal governments with ensuring compliance with the federal Bank Secrecy Act, thereby preventing the use of the banking system to support illegal or criminal activities.
"I encourage all electronic payment service companies and their partner banking institutions doing business in Pennsylvania to ensure that they are in compliance with Pennsylvania law," said Wiessmann. "Additionally, for their protection, we encourage all individual donors and their charitable organizations to strongly consider using properly licensed money transmitters or legitimate agents of a money transmitter licensed to do business in Pennsylvania to ensure consumers are properly safeguarded."
Administrators, organization representatives, banking institutions, consumers, and others who wish to find out if their payment processor is properly licensed to do business in Pennsylvania can visit NMLS Consumer Access online (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) or contact the department's Consumer Services hotline: 1-800-PA-BANKS (800-722-2657).
A Secretary's Letter advising religious and nonprofit communities on this matter was issued today. It can be found online at: http://www.dobs.pa.gov/Documents/Secretary%20Letters/Money%20Transmitters/092915SecretaryLetterMoneyTransmission.pdf.
Media contact: Ed Novak, 717-783-4721
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Banking