National Australia Bank (NAB) said it will block payments to some ”high-risk” crypto exchanges to protect its customers as part of a ”bank-wide-scam” strategy.
NAB announced the plan today, along with other measures to protect customers, without naming the platforms, and said it had intervened in more than $270 million worth of customer transactions that raised scam concerns since March.
Australians lost more than $221 million to crypto scams last year, it said, adding that in a recent 30-day period crypto scams accounted for close to 50% of scam funds reported to the Australian Financial Crimes Exchange.
“We want to make it as hard as possible for these criminal and reduce the impact on our customers,” said Chris Sheehan, group investigations and fraud executive. “Our research shows four in 10 Australians are ‘extremely willing’ for payments to be slower if they were better protected from scammers.”
To protect its customers and residents, Australia has been boycotting transactions to cryptocurrency exchanges through its banks. The crackdown, which has seen the participation of banks such as Westpac and Commonwealth Bank, has resulted in the blocking of transactions amounting to millions to exchanges. NAB is the most recent bank to join the movement.
Due to intensified crypto scrutiny by Australian authorities, the National Australia Bank Ltd (NAB) together with other top banks like Australia & New Zealand Banking Group and Commonwealth Bank of Australia are blocking payments to crypto exchanges deemed as high risk.
— TheCryptoBasic (@thecryptobasic) July 17, 2023
National Australia Bank Provides In-App Warnings
Additionally, National Australia Bank stated that when customers received real-time payment prompt warnings in apps, 12% of payments were abandoned.
By working with telecommunication companies to prevent fraudsters from hacking legitimate text message threads and phone numbers, the company reported a 29% decrease in spoofing reports between January and May.
“Introducing payment prompts, taking action on spoofing, and stopping the use of links in unexpected text messages are among key measures we’ve introduced recently,” Sheehan said.
He added that the scammers are part of organized, transnational crime groups who are increasingly using crypto platforms to send stolen funds overseas quickly.
@Binance_AUS Hi team!
Hope you guys know as I have no idea, any banks in Australia that haven’t blocked us from being able to purchase/buy crypto through binance?#banks #crypto #australia #bank #Binance Banks are trying to fight back so they don’t end up like #blockbuster 😂
— lol (@DogeXHolochain) July 16, 2023
Changing Crypto Market Dynamics
While this move by top Australian banks is a source of relief for Aussies, it may cause some disruption for the Australian crypto industry.
Most smaller Australian exchanges rely on retail banking services to transfer funds between customers. As such, this ongoing crackdown could cripple them as they will likely lose millions of dollars in customer deposits and withdrawals.
The harsh approach of the NAB might push cryptocurrency trading to offshore exchanges outside the purview of regulators. But in the end, the NAB’s actions show that for the crypto business to gain the trust of the Australian market, it must bring the widespread fraud and manipulation to an end.
Wall Street Memes – Next Big Crypto
- Early Access Presale Live Now
- Established Community of Stocks & Crypto Traders
- Featured on BeInCrypto, Bitcoinist, Yahoo Finance
- Rated Best Crypto to Buy Now In Meme Coin Sector
- Team Behind OpenSea NFT Collection – Wall St Bulls
- Tweets Replied to by Elon Musk