Local commercial bank, Bank of Maldives (BML) has blocked cards issued by the bank from being used on any gambling, online trading, or cryptocurrency websites.
In a statement publicized by BML, the bank revealed that it would be “re-doubling its efforts to disable the use of its cards for online transactions that facilitate illegal activities”. In addition to unlawful practices such as gambling, transactions on online trading platforms which have seen exponential growth over the past few months, have also been restricted.
The justification for such restrictions primarily revolves around the shortage of dollars within the country.
“At a time when dollar availability is limited, money transfers to these online trading platforms result in an increase in the non-essential outflow of dollars from the country,” said the bank.
The statement went on to explain that it is critical to secure dollars for essential imports as a means of supporting the economy during “this challenging period of time”. It also stated that the bank would continue to monitor use of its cards on foreign transactions and will take action to block non-essential transactions without prior notice.
BML revealed that this decision has been informed to the central bank, Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), as well as other relevant government institutions.