Global payment giant Mastercard will be ending its crypto card partnership with the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, by next month. This is according to a Bloomberg report on Thursday,
The four-year partnership which offered services to Binance users in Argentina, Brazil, Columbia and Bahrain will come to an end on September 22, according to an email from a MasterCard spokesperson on Thursday. This decision will not impact any of Mastercard’s other crypto card programs and the wind-down period will allow cardholders to convert any holdings in their Binance wallets.
Although the Bloomberg report didn’t divulge the reason for this change, it, however, implied that it might be due to increased regulatory scrutiny of the embattled crypto exchange.
Reports say Mastercard isn’t the only firm that has been distancing itself from Binance amid its regulatory issues worldwide. Visa also stopped issuing new co-branded cards with Binance in Europe as of July, Binance reportedly said.
The Binance & MasterCard crypto card
The Mastercard and Binance’s prepaid crypto card allows users to make payments in local fiat currencies, funded by their crypto holdings on the exchange.
The end of this partnership comes about one year after both firms partnered to launch a prepaid card for the residents of Argentina. Subsequently, in the opening month of 2023, the companies expanded the partnership with a prepaid card in Latin America.
It is however disturbing that it all had to end in response to renewed regulatory issues facing Binance worldwide. A Mastercard spokesperson confirms that the severing of its partnership with Binance will not impact any of Mastercard’s other crypto card programmes. The payment platform’s website still lists partnerships with other crypto exchanges including Gemini.
Issues with Binance
Last week, we reported how the world’s largest exchange announced that it will be shutting down the services of its regulated buy-and-sell crypto arm, Binance Connect. According to a Binance spokesperson, the decision to shut down Binance Connect was taken as part of Binance’s periodic review of its products and services.
Binance Connect allowed merchants to accept payments in crypto and a week after, its customer support team made an announcement on X (formerly Twitter) that it would discontinue its crypto-backed debit card in Latin America and the Middle East.
Note that Binance has had a difficult year, as it is currently facing legal and regulatory challenges. United States regulators sued the crypto exchange and its CEO Changpeng Zhao in June for allegedly operating a “web of deception.”
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission also filed a lawsuit against Binance for not properly registering with the regulator. Additionally, Binance is under an investigation by the United States Department of Justice for letting Russians use the exchange, in violation of United States sanctions.
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