FinCEN has been examining the potential regulatory and law enforcement challenges that may result as electronic payment systems continue to grow. This report discusses three distinct types of financial products and services that are technology-based: Electronic Cash, Electronic Banking, and Internet Gaming. Each of these products and services facilitates the electronic transfer of financial value, often in an immediate and secure fashion. These technology based financial products may also provide a degree of anonymity to the individuals conducting the transactions. For this reason, in addition to providing various benefits for legitimate commerce, these systems may create new vulnerabilities for financial crimes. FinCEN's approach to addressing these issues has been a two-step process: First is education, which is the primary purpose of this report. The nature and operating characteristics of these new financial systems must be understood; to do this, the organization maintains dialogue with members of the financial services industry. The second component of FinCEN's initiative on new payment technologies deals specifically with money laundering prevention. FinCEN relies upon its knowledge of existing money laundering techniques and methodologies to prevent the misuse of new payment systems for criminal purposes.
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network: http://www.fincen.gov