NAB cracks down on cryptocurrency transactions

National Australia Bank says it will be blocking transactions to some cryptocurrency exchanges as part of its strategy to reduce financial crime.

A NAB spokesperson said it would not comment on how it deemed what exchanges were “high-risk”.

But they said the blocks were introduced “where we identify a high proportion of payments going towards scams”.

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“If you attempt to make a payment using your NAB Visa credit or debit card to one of these exchanges, the transaction will be declined, and you will be shown a message which says, ‘Issuer Declined Transaction’,” the bank said on its website.

If customers still need to make a payment to the blocked exchange, they will need to contact them to arrange an alternative form of payment, the website said.

Commonwealth Bank made a similar announcement to block suspicious crypto exchanges last month but went further than NAB by introducing a monthly cap of $10,000 on crypto exchanges and holding some crypto payments for 24 hours for security reasons.

A spokesperson for the NAB said about 50 per cent of scams reported to the Australian Financial Crimes Exchange were linked to crypto exchanges.

NAB has announced major changes regarding crypto exchanges. Credit: AAP

NAB Group Investigations and Fraud Executive Chris Sheehan said a number of other initiatives had also been introduced to reduce scams, including prompts encouraging customers to review their payment before hitting send.

He said about $290,000 worth of payments were abandoned daily thanks to these measures.

“These scammers are part of organised, transnational crime groups. Increasingly, we’re seeing them use cryptocurrency platforms to send stolen funds quickly and often overseas,” Sheehan said.

“We want to make it as hard as possible for these criminals and reduce the impact on our customers.”

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