MasterCard to Suspend All Cryptocurrency Cards Outside of EEA
Following Visa, MasterCard has announced guidelines which would suspend all cryptocurrency debit cards which fall outside of the European Economic Area (EEA).
Like Visa, MasterCard has also announced that they will discontinue support for cryptocurrency debit cards that fall outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). Considering that the world’s two largest card issuers no longer support cryptocurrency debit cards outside of the EEA, this is set to severely impact the cryptocurrency financial sector. Globally, this decision might affect cryptocurrency startups the most.
This particular financial sector will most likely experience its fair share of difficulties regarding MasterCard’s latest decision, especially since the majority of companies are dependent upon a third-party service provider for issuing their debit cards. This decision has now placed Wave Crest Holdings at the top of white-label debit card issuers in the cryptocurrency industry. A large portion of companies has looked towards utilizing debit cards, albeit under different names, to continue providing cryptocurrency debit cards to their users. This practice will essentially come to an end for non-EEA based users.
The latest decision is set to affect a large number of companies in the cryptocurrency debit card sector. For example, Advcash already notified their customers that they will be unable to issue either plastic or virtual cards to any non-EEA user. Surprisingly, this decision affects both plastic and virtual cards.
MasterCard has announced that all cards, either virtual or plastic, belonging to users outside of the EEA will remain active for a period of 90 days. After the period has elapsed, the cards will automatically be blocked. MasterCard has stated that all remaining funds on non-EEA based cards should either be spent or withdrawn in this 90-day period.
The decision has provoked questioning from users worldwide as there is no obvious upside or explanation behind the decision.
The decision from both Visa and MasterCard is likely to force non-EEA users to start using local cryptocurrency wallet options. Both Visa and MasterCard have received criticism from both users and experts worldwide. Many believe that this decision will also affect the card issuing giants negatively, as this decision is likely going to discourage users from using the more convenient cryptocurrency debit cards and use a proper cryptocurrency instead.
However, another stumbling block for non-EEA users would be that very few merchants, both online and offline, readily accept direct bitcoin or other cryptocurrency payments.
All users remaining within the EEA will not be affected by this decision, at least for the foreseeable future. However, this discontinued support is likely to affect all cryptocurrency debit card providers within the next few months. Users within the EEA will still be able to use their cryptocurrency debit cards abroad, however, non-EEA users would not be able to register a card or use their previously registered card.