On July 15th user MiracleB91 had an exchange on Twitter involving the Dutch ING Bank customer service account after the institution apparently blocked a Bitcoin related transaction originating from his account:
@ingnl Why can’t I buy Bitcoins at Bitonic? I understand the risks of Bitcoin, so please lift the block.
@MiracleB91We’re following up on this. At this time virtual currencies are beyond our scope.
In which other users quickly got involved:
@ingnl Esteemed ING, Euro transfers fall within the parameters of your services. Buying Bitcoins does not pose any risk, why not lift the block? @MiracleB91
@zuijlen We’re not allowing Bitcoin payments, in part because there’s little to no oversight 1/3
In subsequent comments the bank indicated that their policy regarding digital currencies was designed to safeguard their customers from what they consider a high-risk fraudulent activities, to which another customer was quick to reply “So, ING determines what we can and cannot buy? How odd!”.
On Reddit several customers pointed out that while ING had also automatically blocked their Bitcoin related transactions in the past, they were always quick to solve the issue after a phone call, meanwhile others simply stated they would be subsequently closing their accounts. One particular customer went into detail about a conversation with an “alternative currency expert” allegedly working at the bank:
“Again the context and translation of the conversation was poorly done. I’ve had the same experience in where I wanted to buy some Bitcoin and ING blocked the purchase. But when I made a quick call to ING, I got a woman on the phone specializing in alternative currencies and she explained to me that they do this for the safety of the users, because fraudulent payments were being made to purchase Bitcoins and then became virtually untraceable.”
ING Bank responded to the small PR storm two days later on the 17th via Twitter, clearing the issue as a simple matter of bad communication between departments and poor handling on their end.
“You can buy Bitcoins with your ING bank account, Unfortunately some confusion has arisen on this mater, we apologize for this.”
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