NAB Calls Crypto Exchanges ‘High-Risk’, Blocks $270m in Consumers’ Transfers

NAB Calls Crypto Exchanges ‘High-Risk’, Blocks $270m in Consumers’ Transfers

National
Australia Bank (NAB) has actively taken measures to safeguard its customers
from financial scams, recently intervening in transactions worth over $270
million. This move comes as a response to the rising scam concerns between
March and July. Additionally, NAB is introducing restrictions on payments to specific
cryptocurrency platforms, which have proven to be high-risk areas for scam
activities.

However,
what some see as caring for users’ welfare and combating risky investments,
others perceive as an impediment to the industry’s development, trying to block
it, especially since similar movements can be observed in other parts of the
world.

NAB Unveils New Protection
Measures

Data from
the NAB app shows that about 12% of transactions were abandoned when customers
received real-time payment prompts. These prompts are among several key
measures the bank has recently launched to fortify its anti-fraud system. Chris
Sheehan, NAB Executive for Group Investigations and Fraud, affirmed that these
initiatives are positively impacting customer safety.

„The
payment prompts feature a checklist triggered by irregular activity designed to
make the customer pause and consider the transaction before proceeding,” Sheehan,
who was a former Australian Federal Police executive, explained.

He noted
that even though some customers still complete the payment after receiving a
prompt, around $290,000 worth of transactions are being abandoned daily. It suggests
that customers are becoming more cautious before making payments.

Yet another
significant measure introduced by NAB involves blocking payments to certain
high-risk cryptocurrency exchanges. According to the bank, cryptocurrency scams
have become one of the fastest-growing security threats, as Australians
lost more than $221 million to them in the previous year.

Sheehan
also spoke about the bank’s collaboration with telecommunication providers to
combat 'spoofing’, the malicious practice of infiltrating phone numbers and
legitimate text message threads. This initiative has already resulted in a reduction of 29% in reports of NAB-branded spoofing scams between January and May.

Protection or Something
More?

NAB is joining
other banks in the country, including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, in
limiting customers’ ability to transfer funds to cryptocurrency exchanges and
platforms. This is part of a broader trend in other jurisdictions, which market
enthusiasts see as an attempt to block further development rather than an
intent to protect consumers.

Currently, the United
States is in an open war with the cryptocurrency market, considering
the activities of even the largest entities illegal. For this reason, exchanges
like Coinbase and Binance are battling legal suits in the US.

Binance is
also facing regulatory issues in Europe where it is exiting multiple
jurisdictions and reducing its presence due to compliance problems.

Smaller
jurisdictions are seeking to take advantage of this situation to grab a slice
of the cryptocurrency pie. Hong Kong, which has opened to retail traders recently, is enjoying great popularity. The Middle East, particularly
the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is also openly discussing plans to become a
cryptocurrency hub.

This article was written by Damian Chmiel at www.financemagnates.com.

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