Binance to Discontinue Visa Debit Card Services in the European Economic Area (EEA)
In a move that marks yet another development in the ongoing changes within the cryptocurrency landscape, Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has announced that it will discontinue its Binance card services in the European Economic Area (EEA). This decision will take effect on December 20, 2023.
The discontinuation of Binance’s card services specifically pertains to the physical and virtual debit cards issued by Binance under the EEA program. It is essential to clarify that this change will not impact users’ Binance accounts. Customers will still have access to their accounts and can use them in the usual manner.
For those who presently hold a Binance Visa debit card, they will be able to continue using it for their card purchases until December 20, after which point card purchases will no longer be possible. Binance has suggested exploring alternative options, such as Binance Pay, a contactless and secure cryptocurrency payment technology developed by the exchange.
Binance Pay enables users to make cryptocurrency payments at merchants that accept it, directly from their wallets within their Binance accounts. This transition from traditional card services to cryptocurrency payment technologies reflects the evolving landscape of digital payments.
The closure of the Binance Card services extends to the Ukraine Refugee Cards issued under the EEA program, meaning that all Binance Visa Debit Cards falling under this program will be affected. Nevertheless, Binance has reassured users that they can still expect to receive cashback rewards for successful transactions, and the distribution of these rewards will continue as usual.
Binance’s Visa Card had allowed users to convert and spend cryptocurrencies at over 60 million online and offline merchants worldwide. It was available to users across European countries, including France, Germany, and Spain. However, the cryptocurrency exchange has faced growing scrutiny from U.S. regulators, leading to retrenchment and the discontinuation of partnerships with major financial institutions like Mastercard and Visa. In fact, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, for breaking securities rules back in June.
The decision to discontinue the Binance Visa card comes amidst a decline in the popularity of crypto debit cards in 2023, partly due to several bankruptcies and challenges in the cryptocurrency market. While this development may have minimal impact on the majority of Binance users, it underscores the ever-changing nature of the fintech industry and the need for businesses to adapt to evolving regulatory environments and market conditions.