Users of Australian big-four bank Westpac suddenly found it impossible to make payments for cryptocurrency purchases through Binance following the bank’s decision to suspend payments to the popular cryptocurrency exchange, citing scams as the primary reason for the ban.
According to the bank’s executive of customer services and technology, the move is part of a series of scam protection measures the bank is trialing to make it easier to recover funds customers lose to scammers.
Westpac breaks Binance bank transfer withdrawals
In a related move, Binance has announced that the withdrawal feature on its platform will stop working soon, as a “third-party payment service provider” has restricted AUD deposits for its users. While the feature technically still works, it’s expected to stop anytime soon, and Binance currently doesn’t have a timeline for when the withdrawals feature will stop working.
In the Binance Australia tweet announcing the development, Binance is “working hard” to find an alternative provider for the impacted services while assuring users that their funds remain safe through the SAFU insurance fund.
“We are working hard to find an alternative provider to continue offering AUD deposits and withdrawals to our users,” Binance Australia said in the statement.
The tweet also noted that users can continue to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on the Binance P2P marketplace using their credit and debit cards for the foreseeable future.
Westpac defends the move as a scam protection measure
While reacting to the bans, Westpac’s customer services and technology executive Scott Collary said the bank introduced the measures as part of its efforts to protect customers from scams.
In his statement, he claimed scammers tend to move money to crypto exchanges outside Australia, frustrating Westpac’s efforts to recover it for customers. By restricting Binance and some other crypto exchanges, the bank can control how far crypto-related scam proceeds move, making recovery easier.
Following opinions against the move on social media, PayID clarified that it’s not involved in the decision, claiming it’s a matter for Binance and Westpac Bank exclusively. Amid the uproar, Binance users that rely on the impacted features have started finding alternatives, with some smaller crypto exchanges using the announcement as an opportunity to market their services.