Banks in South Africa are blocking customers from using their debit and credit cards to purchase crypto from international exchanges, according to local tech-news outlet.
On Monday, 21st of June, Customers of Johannesburg-based bank Absa received an error message when attempting to buy crypto on Binance, the report says.
Absa subsequently said transactions were blocked in line with South African Reserve Bank regulations and were industrywide. Existing regulation does not “allow for cross-border or foreign-exchange transfers for the explicit purpose of purchasing crypto assets,” the central bank said on its website.
“From an exchange control perspective, the Financial Surveillance Department is unable to approve any transactions of this nature.”
The Reserve Bank didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment by press time.
The news may trigger concern of a regulatory crackdown on South Africa’s crypto industry. Earlier this month, the country’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority announced its intention to start regulating crypto assets “in a phased and structured approach.”
A paper published with the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group recommended imposing anti-money laundering rules on crypto asset service providers and monitoring cross-border financial flows.