Are MasterCard and Visa Banning VPN Providers?



This is not a new issue anymore, but it still concerned quite a lot of VPN users and raised questions about the availability of some payment providers, especially since it will affect their subscriptions and their aim at privacy: are MasterCard and Visa cutting off access to VPN companies?

According to previous reports, customers from the Swedish payment provider Payson were informed that they will no longer accept payments for VPN subscriptions made through MasterCard or Visa. This is in accordance to the credit card company’s’ policy on restricting anonymizing services that are seen as facilitating copyright infringement.

Banning VPN Providers

In an email, they said that “Payson has restrictions against anonymization (including VPN services). As a result Payson can unfortunately no longer give your customers the option to finance payments via their cards (Visa or MasterCard).”

People who are using VPNs to protect their privacy and sensitive data are dismayed at the news, because this means that they have one less payment option to continue their subscriptions. Although there are still other options, it seems to them as though their right to privacy have just been taken away.

Peter Sunde, the founder of iPredator (one of the VPN providers affected by this sudden decision) expressed his dismay in an interview with TorrentFreak. “It means that US companies are forcing non-American companies not to allow people to protest their privacy and be anonymous, and thus the NSA can spy even more. It’s just insane,” he says.

Sunde believes that this step was to prevent anti-censorship among the people and continue the government’s surveillance on the lives of each citizen. “For iPredator there are always other payment methods, like Bitcoin, but it’s insane to censor a totally legit system that is there to avoid censorship and surveillance,” he tells TorrentFreak. This is why Sunde will not let this incident pass by and is considering legal action against Payson’s sudden ban on VPN services.

Although there are other payment options for subscribers, such as Bitcoin, Sunde felt that what MasterCard and Visa did was quite unfair, since VPN services are what they described as perfectly legal companies. First, PayPal has banned VPN services, and now that Payson has done the same thing as well, it seemed to the subscribers as if these payment providers do not agree with providing privacy to everyone.


Aside from iPredator, other VPN services that are affected by this are Anonine, VPNTunnel, Mullvad, and PrivatVPN.

TorrentFreak reached out to Visa Europe, and they released a statement saying that the payment provider “has not been involved in this matter in any way, and has not made any such stipulations to Payson or to any other organization.” When asked whether VPN services are denied of Visa’s services, they did not confirm nor deny. According to TorrentFreak, ‘Visa believes that the issue was raised by Payson’s acquiring bank, which acts as an intermediary between payment processors and card associations such as Visa and MasterCard.’

MasterCard’s Senior Vice President of External Communications, Andrew Bowins, also told TorrentFreak that, “Contrary to earlier reports, MasterCard has not been involved in this matter in any way. We have not placed any restrictions on Payson.”

Payson has been keeping quiet about the issue, and VPN subscribers are finding other methods of payment to keep their privacy and protect their data.





Breaking News! Visa and MasterCard block payments to VPN providers


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