Bendigo Bank, an Australian financial institution, has become the country's fourth major bank that implements blocks on high-risk crypto payments, aiming to protect its customers from crypto investment scams. Before Bendigo Bank made the blockades, three of Australia’s big four banks implemented similar blocks in recent months, including the Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank (NAB), and Westpac.
The data from the Bendigo Bank website from 2021, including one-third of unreported scams, show total losses of well over $2 billion. The bank implemented these restraints to combat fraudulent payments and increase protection for its 2.3 billion customers.
According to the bank’s spokesperson, Jason Gordon, the new rules were implemented on July 31 mainly for instant crypto exchange payments that would add some friction to certain legitimate payments.
The Chainalysis APAC Policy head Chengyi Ong warned before the Bendigo Bank announcement that de-banking could force Australia’s digital asset players to seek offshore exchanges and push users into outside jurisdiction.
“[We need to target] all the potential attack vectors and all the potential points of interaction between a victim and a scammer. We have to tackle every single one of those touchpoints,” said Ong.