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Bendigo Bank blocks high-risk crypto payments in Australia

TL;DR

  • Australia’s Bendigo Bank has blocked “high-risk” crypto payments to protect customers from scams.
  • The decision aligns with the bank’s commitment to a safe banking environment— Bendigo Bank will continue to support regulated crypto businesses that comply with Australian laws.
  • The move follows a surge in crypto scams in Australia as the country’s consumer commission reported Australians lost over $70 million to crypto scams in 2020, a 600% increase from the previous year.

Bendigo Bank, one of Australia’s largest banks, announced it would block certain high-risk crypto-related transactions to protect its customers from falling victim to scams and frauds. The bank has identified several crypto platforms and merchants involved in fraudulent activities or has received many customer complaints. These include crypto exchanges, wallets, mining services, gambling sites, and online casinos. The bank said it will not process any payments to or from these platforms and merchants and will notify its customers if they attempt to do so.

Implications of the new rules

The bank made the critical decision after careful consideration and consultation with industry experts and regulators, aligning with the bank’s commitment to providing a safe and secure banking environment for its customers. 

The bank also reiterated that it will continue to monitor the crypto landscape and review its policies as needed, supporting legitimate and regulated crypto businesses that comply with Australian laws and standards. However, this move comes amid a surge in crypto-related scams and frauds in Australia and around the world as more people are attracted to the potential of digital currencies. According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Australians lost over $70 million to crypto scams in 2020, a 600% increase from the previous year.

Concerns over the new rules

Bendigo Bank’s decision has sparked a call for more secure crypto transactions. The bank advised its customers to exercise caution when dealing with crypto transactions and to report any suspicious or unauthorized activity on their accounts. Bendigo Bank also stated that it will continue to monitor the crypto landscape and review its policies as needed. It has pledged to support legitimate and regulated crypto businesses that comply with Australian laws and standards. Bendigo Bank’s move follows similar actions by three other major Australian banks: Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank (NAB), and Westpac.

Despite the bank’s intentions, some industry experts warn that such actions could force Australia’s crypto public to interact with offshore exchanges. They also argued that such blocks wouldn’t stop criminal actors from using other platforms, crypto or not, while uncertainty over banking access could also drive crypto exchanges and users outside authorities’ jurisdiction. 
Last month, Australia’s Treasury Department stated that the growing trend of banks cutting services to cryptocurrency companies in Australia could lead to undesired consequences like making the industry less transparent.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Damilola Lawrence

Damilola is a crypto enthusiast, content writer, and journalist. When he is not writing, he spends most of his time reading and keeping tabs on exciting projects in the blockchain space. He also studies the ramifications of Web3 and blockchain development to have a stake in the future economy.

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