Macau halts withdrawals at some ATMS, Latest Business News - The New Paper

Macau halts withdrawals at some ATMS

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HONG KONG: Authorities in Macau, the world's biggest gambling hub, said withdrawals using China's state-backed UnionPay card would be suspended at automated teller machines without the latest 'know your customer' technology from yesterday.

The announcement from Macau's monetary authority is the latest in a series of measures being rapidly implemented in the special administrative region of Macau as the Chinese territory ramps up scrutiny on capital outflows from the mainland.

In May, authorities unveiled security measures including facial recognition at ATM machines which require users of China's state-backed UnionPay to provide identification. Since May, authorities said they have installed 834 ATMs with 'know your customer' functions.

The monetary authority said the new move was to "promote the integrity of the financial system of Macau and enhance the protection of the legal rights of mainland card holders".

Last month, Macau implemented new anti-money laundering legislation, beefing up the previous framework from 2006 with stricter compliance measures.

A 2014 Reuters investigation found that many mainland Chinese use state-backed UnionPay cards to circumvent cash withdrawal limits of 20,000 yuan (S$4,000) a day, and either use that money to gamble or transfer it abroad. - REUTERS