Mastercard ended its partnership in Latin America and Bahrain with Binance in September, possibly due to the regulatory environment.
Binance Visa debit card services will close down in the European Economic Area (EEA) on Dec. 20, according to an announcement by the cryptocurrency exchange on Oct. 20. Binance exchange accounts will be unaffected.
According to a message to customers posted online, Binance’s card issuer, Finansinės paslaugos “Contis” — or Contis Financial Services — will stop issuing the card. Contis is a Lithuanian electronic money institution and currency exchange operator owned by German banking-as-a-service platform Solaris Group, which is active in 30 European countries.
The Binance Visa debit card converts crypto in users’ Binance accounts into local currencies, thus allowing them to use crypto to pay for purchases in stores and online. The EEA comprises all 27 European Union member states, along with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
The Binance Visa debit card was introduced in the EEA in September 2020. At the time, there were plans to introduce Binance cards in Russia and potentially the United States as well. A Binance spokesperson told Cointelegraph in a statement:
“Although Binance users from around the world have enjoyed using [the Binance Visa debit] card to make day-to-day payments with crypto assets, only around 1% of our users are impacted by this change.”
The closure of the Binance Visa service is the latest in a string of setbacks for Binance. The end of Binance Visa card services was announced a day after the exchange restored euro deposits and withdrawals, which had been unavailable for a month after payments processor Paysafe dropped the exchange. Binance is still not onboarding new users in the United Kingdom due to the loss of a third-party service provider.
Binance.US suspended U.S. dollar deposits in June and warned that withdrawals would also be suspended. It partnered with MoonPay to enable U.S. users to buy Tether
on the exchange. It announced earlier this week that U.S. customers could withdraw dollars from their accounts by converting the fiat into stablecoin.
Mastercard ended its partnership with Binance in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Bahrain in September. At the time, regulatory scrutiny was suggested as the motivation for the breakup.