Binance Australia suspends deposits of AUD, while Westpac roadblocks the exchange
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Binance Australia has suspended Australian Dollar (AUD) deposits, “with immediate effect”. Meanwhile, Westpac has effectively roadblocked the exchange.
The world’s biggest exchange by trading volume emailed its customers on Thursday with the first part of that bad news, citing “a decision made by our third party payment service provider” that has left Binance unable to facilitate PayID deposits of AUD.
The service has been a popular way to onramp into crypto investing and trading in the local market.
In its statement, confirmed on Twitter, Binance also noted that bank transfer withdrawals “will also be impacted”.
We regret to inform you that with immediate effect we are unable to facilitate PayID AUD deposits for Binance users due to a decision made by our third party payment service provider. We understand from our third party payment service provider that Bank…
— Binance Australia (@Binance_AUS) May 18, 2023
And what does that mean? Good question. There doesn’t appear to be too much clarification on that at the moment, other than the exchange noting it “will advise users on timeline when this is confirmed,” adding:
“We are working hard to find an alternative provider to continue offering AUD deposits and withdrawals to our users.”
Binance Australia customers can still, however, buy and sell crypto with a credit or debit card.
Stockhead contacted Binance Australia in an attempt to find out more. For the moment, this is what else we’ve been told in an emailed response:
“We can confirm that Cuscal, our payment processor’s partner bank, has made the decision to end AUD deposit services. However, our users can continue to withdraw AUD and we will update any further changes on timing as we know more.
“Users are still able to buy and sell crypto via debit and credit card and rest assured their funds are safe through the Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU), an insurance fund that offers protection to Binance users and their funds in the event of extreme situations.
same in the UK pic.twitter.com/K7yZhTI5xv
— bitcoindata21 (@bitcoindata21) May 18, 2023
Annnd, in further less-than-ideal news for Binance, one of Australia’s biggest banks, Westpac, has essentially banned its customers from transferring funds to the crypto exchange.
It’s a move that, according to reports, is designed to reduce customer losses from scams.
“The latest Westpac data shows investment scams account for approximately half of all scam losses and a third of all scam payments are transferred directly to a cryptocurrency exchange,” the bank stated in a press release.
“Digital exchanges have a legitimate role to play in the financial ecosystem. But since the rise of digital currency, we’ve noticed that scammers are increasingly using overseas exchanges,” Westpac Group Executive of Customer Services and Technology, Scott Collary, said.
BREAKING‼️ Westpac Bank in Australia has banned customer payments to Binance. 🤔
It is the 3rd biggest bank in Australia. pic.twitter.com/eNuqztK9cU
— Radar🚨 (@RadarHits) May 18, 2023
This move also comes about a month after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) cancelled Binance’s Australian financial services licence to sell derivatives.
In a recent interview with Stockhead, Binance Australia and New Zealand Regional General Manager Ben Rose indicated that the exchange has been fully focused on “compliance and reassurance” as the way to onboard more crypto-investing customers.
He acknowledged the compliance challenges the global exchange has been facing, noting: “My focus really is on making sure that we’ve got the right people in the right places and have got the team focused on helping our users and our growth.”
The exchange has made some key recent hires from the world of traditional finance and regulatory bodies to help it achieve its compliance goals.