Barclaycard Could be Next to Ban Cryptocurrency Purchase

EXCLUSIVE – Barclays U.S. or Barclaycard is looking to join Bank of America, Citi and Chase in banning cryptocurrency purchases on its Barclaycard, Bank Innovation has learned.

“We are making the decision that we will likely no allow cryptocurrency purchases on the card,” Paul Wilmore, CMO at Barclays told Bank Innovation.

Wilmore compared the cryptocurrency phenomenon to gambling, and iterated thatthe  bank does “not want to be in a position,” to partake in transactions of such a highly speculative nature. Whether that ban will include the entire Barclays Group is unclear, Wilmore could only comment on U.S. operations.

As of now, however, Barclaycard holders can buy cryptocurrencies: although if the current environment is any indication, using a credit card to buy such virtual currencies might not be appealing.

Despite a fairly optimistic outlook on the cryptocurrency phenomenon from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trade Commission earlier this week, many banks remain steadfast in their stance on using credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies. The decision stems from the extreme volatility the market has been experiencing, especially with the most drop in bitcoin prices. As of today, bitcoin is at $8,446 at 11.00 AM ET, according to Coinbase.

Although that price reflects a 1.3% uptick, it’s far away from bitcoin’s $10K mark, and even further way from its $17K plus all-time high.

So it’s only logical that it’s not just major U.S. banks (mentioned above) banning cryptocurrencies, but also major non-U.S. ones. U.K.’s Lloyds Banking Group just announced its ban on these transactions. In fact, Lloyds’ ban extended to all the banks under its group including Halifax, MBNA and Bank of Scotland, totaling more than nine million customers. Capital One, Discover and U.K.’s Virgin Money are some other banks that have banned cryptocurrency purchase.

Wells Fargo Bank, however, has not jumped on the bandwagon… yet.

To learn more about B2B payments, join us on March 5-6, 2018 at the Parc 55 in San Francisco for Bank Innovation 2018. Click here to request an invitation.

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