Commonwealth Bank of Australia kills crytpo purchases of ‘Virtual currencies’ with credit cards

The Commonwealth Bank have announced this afternoon that they will follow the US banks in banning the use of Credit Cards to buy cryptocurrencies. This afternoon CommBank customers received text messages announcing the change which actually lists the ban as applying to all virtual currency.

Here’s the brutal part, the ban is effectively immediately. If you had plans to purchase more crypto on credit, wait for the appreciation of the investment, then pay off your credit card, then think again. The company published a post on the announcement on their corporate blog.

Due to the unregulated and highly volatile nature of virtual currencies, customers will no longer be able to use their CommBank credit cards to buy virtual currencies. This will come into effect as of 14 February 2018.

Ironically the same day CommBank announced the ban on crpto, Western Union confirmed they’re working with Ripple.

While the restriction on credit card usage for virtual currencies will also apply to Bankwest credit cards. Commonwealth Banks says customers will still be able to buy and sell virtual currencies using other CommBank transaction accounts, and their debit cards.

Virtual currency is a strange description, when is currency digital, when is it virtual, given the terms are often used interchangeably. Given this definition could cause some confusion, I reached out to CommBank on Twitter and they confirmed digital currency services ‘aka virtual currencies’ like PayPal are not included.

With the first of Australia’s big 4 banks now banning the use of credit cards to buy crypto, it’ll be interesting to see if the other 3, and smaller banks follow suit.





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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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