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Payments - Cryptocurrency

Why has my payment to Binance been returned?

Due to an increase in scams relating to cryptocurrency and regulatory uncertainty surrounding some cryptocurrency firms, we have taken steps to restrict payments to some merchants until further notice.

Why won't Ulster Bank allow me to purchase cryptocurrency?

We know that customers investing their money in cryptocurrency has become extremely popular. However, we are also aware of the increasing risks posed by fraudsters exploiting this trend to dupe customers out of millions of euro per month. In addition, there have been recent regulatory warnings and announcements regarding the risks associated with cryptocurrency, particularly the lack of consumer protection. For more information on this, visit the Central Bank of Ireland’s website (opens in a new window).

As such, we have decided to take proportionate action to keep our customers safe and secure. This doesn't mean that we block cryptocurrency payments altogether but we will restrict payments to cryptocurrency exchanges that present the highest risk of financial harm.

Although you may have made payments to cryptocurrency exchanges previously, we continuously monitor fraud patterns and trends, adjusting our restrictions to keep you, and your money, safe and secure.

Why has my debit card payment been declined for a cryptocurrency purchase?

We have taken steps as a Bank to restrict payments to cryptocurrency exchanges to keep you, and your money, safe and secure.

Whilst you can purchase cryptocurrency with some merchants using your debit card, we may restrict purchases to certain merchants where we have seen a high volume of scams being reported to us. This may result in your payment being declined.

Why has my Credit Card payment for a cryptocurrency purchase been declined?

Since February 2018, to keep you safe and secure and not expose you to more risky debt, we have restricted the use of our Credit and Charge Cards to purchase cryptocurrency.

If I make a lesser payment amount will my payment still be stopped?

Due to the increasing risks posed by fraudsters exploiting cryptocurrency we will continue to block any value of payment to merchants/exchanges where we see a disproportionate amount of fraud being committed in order to protect you.

Can I make the payment via any other channels? (e.g. Debit Card/Online Payment/Branch/Telephony)

We would recommend not attempting to make your payment via another method as it may continue to be declined. Also, making your payment via another method does not make it any less risky.

Can I transfer money to another Financial Institution to make the payment?

Whilst we would not restrict you from sending money to your other accounts, we have taken these steps to keep our customers safe. We would urge you to fully investigate the merchant involved to ensure you are comfortable it is not a scam.

You can find more information on our Investment Scams guide (opens in a new window).

What is cryptocurrency and is it safe?

Cryptocurrency is a digital asset that can be traded or exchanged online to buy from people or companies who accept this form of payment.

Investing in crypto assets, or investments and lending linked to them, generally involves taking very high risks with your money. Cryptocurrencies and their exchanges/platforms are not currently regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. However, they're attracting more attention as a potentially lucrative investment option due to the fluctuations in value seen over the past few years.

You can find more information on our Investment Scams guide (opens in a new window).

Are all cryptocurrency firms the same?

All cryptocurrency firms are different for a range of reasons that we won’t go into here and whilst we can’t provide advice on any particular cryptocurrency exchange, we would encourage our customers to seek independent financial advice via a trusted advisor or firm.

Is cryptocurrency regulated?

Cryptocurrencies and their exchanges/platforms are not currently regulated and do not currently require an authorisation or licence from the Central Bank of Ireland. There are also concerns that it could be used to facilitate financial crime or fraud. The value of these currencies is unpredictable and generally involves taking high risks with your money.

Is it lawful to purchase cryptocurrency?

The purchase of cryptocurrency is lawful, however as a bank we want to do all we can to protect our customers.

Is it just my personal bank account that is affected?

To continue to keep our customers safe, restrictions will be implemented for Personal, Business and Commercial customers.

Can the Bank provide advice on cryptocurrency?

As cryptocurrencies are unregulated assets we’re unable to provide customers with advice. If you still wish to purchase cryptocurrency we suggest that you seek independent financial advice via a trusted and regulated advisor or firm.

I already have money invested in cryptocurrencies – what should I do?

Our decisions do not currently impact the ability for you to withdraw your money from your cryptocurrency wallet into your bank account.

I would like to make a complaint

If you are unhappy that your payment to a cryptocurrency merchant has been declined and wish to make a complaint, details of how to do this are available on our complaints page (opens in a new window).

However, it is important to note that this will not change the outcome of the declined payment as this has been done in accordance with bank policy.

How do I know if I’m being scammed into investing my money in cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency scams can be sophisticated and difficult to uncover but we would encourage you to use the resources provided by the Central Bank of Ireland which can be found on their website (opens in a new window). Take time to thoroughly read and understand the information provided and do not be rushed into making an investment.

What should I do if I think I’ve been scammed?

If you think you have fallen victim to a cryptocurrency scam, you should report this to us immediately by calling the number on the back of your debit or credit card.

Where can I find more information on cryptocurrency?

You can find more information on our Investment Scams guide (opens in a new window).