We have identified BridgerPay as a payment provider of some broker scams in the last few weeks and subsequently put it on the Payment Processor Blacklist. We are of the opinion that without the intentional or negligent involvement of payment processors most of the scams would not be possible in the first place. FinTelegram wants to warn consumers, investors, and the payment industry about these bad payment processors via the blacklist. BridgerPay is no longer on it.
BridgerPay and Ran Cohen
Subsequently, the publisher of FinTelegram News was contacted by Ran Cohen, the founder and CEO of BridgerPay via LinkedIn. He was dismayed that BridgerPay operated by Brider AI Limited was blacklisted and offered a discussion about the scam subject. In a detailed discussion, Ran explained his business model and also declared his ambition to fight against scams. Actually, ee has a background in forex trading and says that he knows many evil tricks of this industry and would use his knowledge to prevent scams at BridgerPay. Of course, it wouldn’t be possible to prevent all scams but BridgerPay tries his best. Fighting scammers is sort of a passion.
The KYC Question
FinTelegram believes that all payment institutions – both regulated and non-regulated – are legally obliged to perform KYC/AML checks. Even though we know that there are different approaches even within the different regulatory regimes of the EU. Undoubtedly, AMLD4 provides that all financial institutions are obliged entities for purposes of AML compliance. Susanne Grohé of PayTech Law published an interesting article on this subject in 2017 already.
This is a view that Ran could not agree with respect to his specific business model. He only sees regulated payment processors in this AML obligation. And he would rather get a license today than tomorrow, he said. And anyway, BridgerPay would do a voluntary AML/KYC on a best effort basis.
Joining the fight against scams
Ran has declared his willingness to cooperate with FinTelegram News in the fight against scams. He would check and remove any reference to scammers among his customers (merchants). Conversely, he would report discovered scammers to the FinTelegram News team. We find this a remarkably constructive approach. Many thanks in advance for this cooperation. We hope, in the very best interest of consumer and investor protection, that further such cooperations with other payment processors will be possible.
FinTelegram together with partners will soon launch a Payment Processor Whitelist which will include BridgerPay. This whitelist is continuously updated and should serve as a guide for market participants. Stay tuned.