Binance shutters fiat-to-crypto payment platform
Binance is discontinuing its fiat-to-crypto payment platform, Binance Connect, just one year after its official launch in March 2022.
Formerly known as Bifinity, Binance said the service is scheduled to be disabled on August 16, citing a strategic realignment towards its core products and long-term objectives.
Binance Connect was initially introduced to facilitate crypto payments for merchants, aiming to assist businesses in becoming “crypto-ready.” The service provided support for over 50 cryptocurrencies and accepted major payment methods, including Visa and Mastercard. It served as a fiat-to-crypto payments gateway, bridging the gap between crypto and traditional financial systems, as well as the fiat-to-crypto on-ramp for the exchange’s self-custody Trust Wallet.
Joseph Johnson, the brother of former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, had previously held an advisory role with Binance Connect. However, he resigned from this position in December 2022. At the time, the UK fincnial regulator raised concerns related to Bifinity providing a $36 million convertible loan to Eqonex, a Nasdaq-listed crypto investment firm. The FCA noted that due to this investment, certain holders of Bifinity’s parent company, Binance Group, could be considered beneficial owners of Eqonex.
“We periodically review our products and services to ensure that our resources continue to be focused on core efforts that align with our long-term strategy. In the last six years, Binance has grown from being an exchange to a global blockchain ecosystem with multiple business lines. We consistently adapt and modify our business approach in response to changing market and user needs,” a spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
The decision to discontinue Binance Connect follows shifts in market dynamics and user preferences, with smaller exchanges gaining traction among traders. The move also comes on the heels of the exchange terminating agreements with payment providers in Europe and Australia.
Earlier in June, Binance’s regional manager Ben Rose revealed that the Australia’s team received an abrupt notification in the middle of the night, stating that the exchange would be “cut off” from Australia’s banking system.
This unexpected action affected approximately 1 million customers located in Australia, according to Rose. He emphasized that there was no prior warning, consultation, or avenue for redress provided before this decision was taken.
Binance’s European operations also went into trouble after its banking partner, Paysafe Payment Solutions, withdrew its support for the global exchange in about three months. The FCA raised concerns over Binance’s partnership with Paysafe as it gives the exchange access to the extensive retail payments network. At the time, banks such as Barclays had withdrawn their support to the exchange, resulting in the suspension of banking services.