Australian big four bank Westpac has banned its customers from transacting on Binance, as part of a set of scam protection measures. The development comes amid mounting pressure on the crypto giant’s operations in the country.
In a statement, Westpac revealed it had blocked several cryptocurrency exchanges as part of a test. Its data discovered investment frauds accounted for about half of all losses, and a third of all scam payments were transferred directly to cryptocurrency exchanges.
Despite Binance not being named clearly, it is understood that its Australian arm exchange has been hit with the ban. Commenting on the move Scott Collary, Westpac’s group executive of customer service and technology, said,
“Digital exchanges have a legitimate role to play in the financial ecosystem. But since the rise of digital currency, we have noticed that scammers are increasingly using overseas exchanges. Often our customers only discover that they get scammed after the money leaves the country, which makes recovery more difficult. Testing our new security measures will better protect customers from scams.”
Collary also said the move would help the bank save millions lost to scams. The ban on crypto exchanges is reportedly being rolled out as a test phase in the coming weeks.
Binance Australia’s launch of a major Australian payment service is yet another blow for the crypto exchange, which is already facing intense regulatory scrutiny in the United States.
Westpac’s ban comes on the same day that Binance Australia issued a update says it can no longer facilitate Australian Dollar bank transfers through PayID, a popular instant payment method. The crypto exchange blamed third-party payment service providers while adding it was looking for an alternative.
Places called Binance in Australia
Last month, Binance announced the suspension of the Binance Australia Derivatives business, citing recent engagement with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The latter canceled the Australian financial services license held by Oztures Trading Pty Ltd trading as Binance Australia Derivatives in response to Binance requesting the action.
Prior to the license cancellation, ASIC also found that Binance had misclassified hundreds of retail customers as wholesale investors, prompting the financial regulator to conduct a targeted investigation into the company. .
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