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 Mybroadband.
- Customers of Johannesburg-based bank Absa received an error message when attempting to buy crypto on Binance, Mybroadband reported Monday.
- Absa subsequently said transactions were blocked in line with South African Reserve Bank regulations and were industrywide. The move took effect Friday, Mybroadband reported.
- 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.