Australia’s largest bank has banned its customers from buying cryptocurrencies like bitcoin using its credit cards, starting today.
Citing a lack of regulation and high volatility of cryptocurrencies, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has discontinued credit card purchases of cryptocurrencies. The curb will also extend to Perth-based Bankwest, a bank fully acquired by the CBA with operations in the country. The restriction will not extend to banking customers who will still be able to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using their debit cards.
In an announcement, the bank explained its call to bar customers from using its credit cards for crypto purchases, stating:
“We have made this decision because we believe virtual currencies do not meet a minimum standard of regulation, reliability, and reputation when compared to currencies that we offer to our customers. Given the dynamic, volatile nature of virtual currency markets, this position is regularly reviewed.”
In doing so, the CBA has become the first Australian bank to keep its customers from using its credit cards for buying cryptocurrencies. However, recent remarks from the country’s remaining ‘big four’ banks suggest the shift in policy is unlikely to become a trend.
As reported last week, a spokesperson for ANZ confirmed the bank “does not prohibit” cryptocurrency purchases, nor does it keep customers from “accepting them as a form of payment.” Westpac, Australia’s second-largest bank, added it did not place any restrictions on purchasing cryptocurrencies.
CBA joins a select number of credit card lenders such as UK’s Llyods and stateside US banksin JPMorgan, Bank of America and Citi who have barred customers from credit card purchases of cryptocurrencies this month.