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Visa denies changing Bitcoin purchase policies

Wednesday 14 February 2018 | 09:41 AM CET

Visa has announced that it has not modified any policies related to the purchasing of Bitcoin.

The payment processor still allows Visa cardholders to make cryptocurrency purchases with “credit, debit, and certain prepaid Visa products,” it said in a statement sent to media, according to Bank Innovation.

This follows reports that Visa and Mastercard changed how cryptocurrency transactions were coded to now consider them cash advances. Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange, has recently sent out an email to all of its customers saying that the Merchant Category Code (MCC) for digital currency purchases was revised by a number of the major credit card networks.

The new code will allow banks and card issuers to charge additional ‘cash advance’ fees. However, these fees are not charged or collected by the crypto exchange. These additional fees with show up as a separate line item on your card statement.

However, Visa is not one of those networks, a spokesperson for the company told Bank Innovation. Rather, any fees that might arise from the purchase of Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency via a Visa product are set and collected by issuers, the company stated.

The other major credit card network, Mastercard, has clarified the right category for purchases with acquirers, a spokesperson for the company told Bank Innovation via email.

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