Binance, the leading cryptocurrency exchange, announced a significant shift in its operations on October 20. The platform is discontinuing its Visa debit card services within the European Economic Area (EEA). Effective December 20, users in approximately 40 European nations will find their cards inactive. This move comes three years after the product’s initial rollout in September 2020.
Binance Visa Service Ends in Europe
The policy shift directly impacts several users and specific humanitarian programs. For instance, the Ukrainian Refugee Crypto Cards program, initiated in April 2022, faces termination. This initiative provided verified refugees with a free card and a $75 monthly balance. Additionally, the decision will touch about 1% of Binance’s clientele, as per current Bloomberg data. However, Binance maintains that the broader account functionalities for European customers remain intact.
Despite the halt, Binance proposes alternative transaction avenues. The Binance Pay app, though less universally accepted than the Visa cards, remains an option. This application facilitates crypto transactions with compatible merchants, a feature many in the crypto community appreciate. Moreover, the company confirmed the continuation of cashback rewards on transactions, ensuring some continuity in user benefits. Replacement card orders are open until December 6, adding a slight time pressure for those seeking alternatives.
Operational Changes Sweep Across Binance Globally
Binance’s strategy is evolving, marked by a retraction of various services globally. Card services ceased in regions like Latin America and the Middle East. Furthermore, June 2023 saw the end of Paysafe, a notable bank transfer service, adding to the list of discontinued services. The firm also recently retracted its market presence in countries like Austria, The Netherlands, and Cyprus, alongside withdrawing licensing applications in Germany.
In the U.K., changes have also been palpable, albeit for different reasons. New advertising regulations have prompted Binance to stop onboarding users from the U.K., further delineating its operational scope.
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