Binance, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, has announced a significant operational shift that will impact its Visa debit card services within the European Economic Area (EEA).
Starting from December 20, 2023, users in approximately 40 European nations will no longer be able to use their Binance Visa debit cards. This move comes three years after the service’s initial rollout in September 2020.
Implications for Humanitarian Programs and Users
The decision to end the Binance Visa service in Europe will directly affect several users and specific humanitarian initiatives. Notably, the Ukrainian Refugee Crypto Cards program, initiated in April 2022, will be discontinued. This program provided verified refugees with free cards and a $75 monthly balance.
Moreover, approximately 1% of Binance’s clientele, as per current Bloomberg data, will need to adapt to this change. Binance, however, reassures European customers that their broader account functionalities will remain unaffected.
Alternative Transaction Options
In light of discontinuing the Visa debit card service, Binance offers alternative transaction avenues. Users can opt for the Binance Pay app, which allows cryptocurrency transactions with compatible merchants, although it is not as universally accepted as Visa cards.
Furthermore, the company confirms the continuation of cashback rewards on transactions, ensuring some level of continuity in user benefits. Users have until December 6 to place orders for replacement cards, providing a limited window to explore alternative options.
Binance Evolving Strategy
Binance’s strategy is evolving, characterized by a global retraction of various services. Card services have previously been discontinued in regions such as Latin America and the Middle East. In June 2023, Paysafe, a significant bank transfer service, was terminated.
In the United Kingdom, Binance has made notable changes due to new advertising regulations. The exchange has stopped onboarding new users from the UK, reflecting a shift in its operational scope.