JPMorgan Accused of Overcharging Customers on Cryptocurrency ‎Transactions

The plaintiff ‎said he paid ‎‎$143.30 in fees and $20.61 in surprise interest charges for ‎5 ‎cryptocurrency transactions.

In the latest instance of problems surrounding cryptocurrency banking ‎transactions, a new lawsuit claims that JPMorgan Chase & Co charged ‎hidden, illegal fees when it halted the use of credit cards to buy virtual coins.‎

In late January,‎ JPMorgan started declining credit card transactions with crypto exchanges‎ and began treating crypto-related purchases as cash ‎advances.‎

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Per a Reuters report, an Idaho resident filed a class-action lawsuit against ‎the company for charging “both extra fees and substantially higher ‎interest rates on the cash advances than on the credit cards.”

The lender ‎allegedly charged customers higher fees than the real cost of transactions and refused to refund the charges when the clients complained.‎

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JPMorgan spokesperson Mary Jane Rogers was dismissive of claims ‎surrounding the bank’s approach towards financing cryptocurrency ‎transactions, noting that clients can use their debit cards to avoid incurring cash advance charges.‎

According to the lawsuit, the troubles began snowballing over the last two months when several ‎banks, including JPMorgan, decided to block credit-card purchases of digital ‎currencies on venues around the world. ‎

Days later, ‎the plaintiff called Chase staff to complain that hefty cash ‎advance fees were appearing on his card statements. Those included ‎‎$143.30 in fees and $20.61 in surprise interest charges for five ‎cryptocurrency-linked transactions occurred between January 27 and February 2. ‎However, the customer service refused his request to dispute the charges.

JPMorgan is not the only financial institution that imposes hefty charges for ‎transactions associated with ‎cryptocurrency. Visa and Mastercard were also ‎accused of changing the merchant classification code of several crypto exchanges, ‎prompting banks to treat card purchases on those sites as cash advances.‎

Several banks have already backed away from digital currencies as they fear that ‎allowing purchases of cryptocurrencies using borrowed money ‎‎could leave them on the hook if the buyers’ bets go ‎‎wrong and ‎they cannot repay their debts.‎ Credit transactions can also create big headaches ‎for banks if stolen cards are used to buy untraceable cryptocurrencies.‎

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