• Australia’s Bendigo Bank has blocked high-risk payments to crypto exchanges in order to protect customers from investment scams.
• The bank has implemented new rules on instant payments to crypto exchanges that add “some friction” to certain payments.
• Chainalysis APAC Policy Head Chengyi Ong warned that such blocks would force Australia’s crypto public to interact with unregulated offshore exchanges.
Australia’s Bendigo Bank Blocks High-Risk Payments
Australia’s Bendigo Bank has become the fourth major bank in the country to announce blocks for “high-risk crypto payments,” citing the need to protect customers from investment scams. The bank said on July 31 that it implemented new rules on instant payments to crypto exchanges that add “some friction to certain genuine payments,” according to its head of fraud, Jason Gordon. It cited combatting fraudulent payments and enhancing protections for its 2.3 million customers as reasons for the blocks.
Identifying High-Risk Payments
A Bendigo Bank spokesperson told Cointelegraph that certain instant crypto transactions that it identifies as higher risk will be blocked, but the bank is not disclosing further details at this time. The spokesperson said it identifies high-risk transactions by employing “a combination of factors” but refused to comment on specifics. The bank said it was not disclosing what exchanges may be affected by its changes.
Follow Up Actions From Other Banks
Bendigo Bank’s blocks follow similar actions in recent months from three of Australia’s Big Four banks — Commonwealth Bank , National Australia Bank (NAB) and Westpac .
Warning From Chainalysis Policy Lead
In an interview conducted before the recent Bendigo Bank announcement, Chainalysis APAC Policy Head Chengyi Ong warned that such actions would force Australia’s crypto public to interact with offshore exchanges. Speaking to Cointelegraph, Ong argued that such blocks won’t stop criminal actors from using other platforms, crypto or not, while uncertainty over banking access could also drive crypto exchanges and users outside the jurisdiction of authorities.
bendigo Banks decision follows similar action taken by other big four banks in australia which can lead users into dealing with unregualted offshor echanges which can have adverse effects on their investments and security measures