Misleading statements was what got Uk's Paymentology into trouble with DFSA. The regulator has noted that fintech companies will not be able to get away with making false representations. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The DIFC regulator has issued a public censuring of UK firm Paymentology for issuing a media statement last year that it has been ‘licensed to operate’ by the DFSA. Not just that, until “at least 25 February 2021, Paymentology’s website incorrectly stated that Paymentology had an office in the DIFC”.

In a statement, Dubai Financial Services Authority said “Paymentology disseminated misleading or deceptive information in breach of DFSA administered legislation. In particular, by incorrectly claiming that it was licensed by the DFSA and had an office in the DIFC, Paymentology was likely to mislead or deceive others into believing that it was authorised by the DFSA to Provide Money Services in or from the DIFC when that was not correct.”

DFSA said the firm has never been licensed by the DFSA and has never had any presence of any kind in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). As per its website, Paymentology describes itself as a card issuing and processing platform.

In imposing the public censure, DFSA said:

• The incorrect statement that Paymentology was licensed by the DFSA resulted from an employee’s misunderstanding;

• Paymentology promptly withdrew the media release of 20 October 2020 when the DFSA brought the incorrect statement to the firm’s attention; and

• The firm has since apologised for the error.

Without the cooperation and “prompt action to correct the misleading information, the DFSA would have imposed a financial penalty on Paymentology”.

DFSA's tough stance
"The DFSA has noticed an increasing trend in firms wrongly claiming that they are based in the DIFC and licensed by the DFSA. This is particularly the case for financial services technology businesses. The DFSA will not tolerate such misrepresentations and will take appropriate enforcement action."