Exclusive: Mastercard Determined to Cut Binary Options Deposits from Canada

Mastercard warns that binary options is damaging to its brand, alongside "herbal" drugs and illegal ivory.
Photo: Avi Mizrahi

The international binary options industry has been under tremendous pressure recently with various countries banning advertising, marketing or even the instrument itself outright. This intense regulatory focus is radiating outwards onto companies servicing the industry, scaring them into cutting ties with the business.

The latest example for this is Mastercard – Finance Magnates sources have learned that the payments cards giant now lists binary options as a brand damaging activity, alongside the sale of controversial products such as psychoactive “herbal” drugs and illegal elephant ivory. It associates binary options with risk of fraud, deception and disputes.

Tightening the noose

According to our sources, Mastercard has issued a notice to its clients to make sure they understand and adhere to a number of restrictions on binary options transactions. Mastercard has verified that no binary options providers are approved in any province of Canada and therefore the industry is completely out of bounds for Canadians. Canadian securities regulations are decentralised with each province issuing its own licenses to brokers. It therefore can be time consuming for merchants to check if a firm is authorized to provide services for each specific client.

Mastercard also reminds merchants that in countries where binary options is regulated as gambling, they must use the code for gambling for any deposit. Mastercard additionally warns that transactions with binary options firms may not involve credit.

Tal Miller, CEO, Fibonatix Israel
Tal Miller, CEO, Fibonatix Israel

We asked an expert in the payments field, Tal Miller the CEO of Fibonatix Israel, to comment. “The recent changes to BRAM (Business Risk Assessment and Mitigation) by MasterCard are a further tightening of the noose around OTC Binary Options, I believe it is about time the industry begins to regulate itself, introduce best practices and pull itself towards more positive directions before its direction and fate are decided by external forces,” said Miller.

With this move Mastercard is closing the ranks with Visa, making sure that no Canadian will access binary options.

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