Recent updates from Australia’s top bank by assets, Commonwealth Bank (CBA), have shown a growing concern for customer protection in relation to cryptocurrency exchanges. Starting on Thursday, the bank plans to either reject or temporarily withhold specific payments made to crypto trading platforms. Furthermore, CBA will implement a monthly limit of A$10,000 ($6,664) for customer payments intended for purchasing cryptocurrencies from exchanges.
According to James Roberts, general manager of group fraud management services at the bank, these measures, such as 24-hour holds and limits on outbound payments to cryptocurrency exchanges, will help reduce the number of scams and the amount of money lost by customers. This move is in line with CBA’s recent announcement to share its NameCheck anti-scam technology with government organizations and other financial companies involved in payment processing in Australia, with the intention to collectively combat scams and fraud.
Last month, Westpac, another Australian bank, initiated a trial of new customer safeguards for specific cryptocurrency payments in order to minimize losses resulting from scams. Westpac’s list of “high-risk” exchanges reportedly included Binance among the crypto platforms, and Binance Australia notified users that it would suspend specific Australian dollar deposits.
As the regulation of cryptocurrencies in Australia is still being considered, the Labor government has recently proposed to enhance enforcement measures. However, government documents obtained through Freedom of Information laws suggest that it could take more than a year to establish Australian laws regulating the crypto industry to protect retail customers.
Meanwhile, CBA stopped a landmark trial program last year that briefly let some users buy cryptocurrencies, such as BTC, ether, and some DeFi tokens within its own banking app.
It is evident that banks and governments are trying to strike a balance between allowing the growing interest in cryptocurrencies and protecting customers from potential scams and risks. While some argue that such protective measures could stifle the growth and development of the crypto market, others believe that these precautions are necessary to ensure a safe and trustworthy environment for all parties involved in the crypto space. Time will tell how the crypto industry will adapt to these ever-evolving regulations and restrictions.