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Dublin Live
Dublin Live
Rayana Zapryanova

Liffey Valley and Square shoppers face losing money as vouchers payment firm shut down

Shoppers at several Dublin shopping centres are at risk of losing money after the payments firm that manages vouchers was shut down by regulators due to money laundering allegations.

Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, The Square Tallaght and the White Water in Kildare are among those affected, leaving them unable to sell or accept gift cards due to the shutdown.

This follows news that Lithuania-based UAB PayrNet had their licence revoked for alleged breaches of money laundering laws. Consumer Association spokesman Dermot Jewell told Newstalk that there are concerns the money in the vouchers might be lost.

He said: "After a period of time - usually 12 or 13 months - as the holder of the card, you pay a management fee that's deducted each month from the balance on the card. For example, in Liffey Valley that's €3 a month."

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Mr Jewell also said that while the "selling point of that fee" has always been that there's a safeguarding mechanism, the difficulty here is that there's no clarity as to where that money that's supposed to be ring-fenced is.

He also noted that while there is legislation to protect consumers, it may not apply. He added: "There's legislation around it, but the problem is if you look at tall the terms and conditions associated with these cards - to all intents and purposes - if the organisation fails, then the money may go with them.

"That's why there's the worry that the money may be lost."

This issue is "all across the EU - it's not just Ireland" and it is currently being looked at by Central Banks, Mr Jewell said.

In a statement shared with Dublin Live, Liffey Valley Shopping Centre have said: "Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are currently unable to sell or accept gift cards at Liffey Valley Shopping Centre.

"This situation arises from UAB PayrNet, the payments firm responsible for managing the funds of gift cards, having had its operating licence revoked in recent days. We appreciate this will be both concerning and inconvenient to our customers.

"At this stage, the full implications and the timeline for a resolution are still unclear. However, we are working closely with the gift card provider and exploring every possible avenue to rectify the situation as swiftly as possible."

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