The Bank of Maldives has seemingly banned transactions over Valve’s online PC gaming platform Steam.
We came to know of this due to Emmen Gaming receiving reports of various Steam users in the Maldives having trouble with making purchases.
According to these users, they first began encountering the issue about a week ago. They found themselves unable to purchase any games from Steam.
The users discovered that they could not make any purchases through their BML Visa card directly or via PayPal.
When contacted, through Twitter, representatives from the bank stated that the vendor was now a restricted platform.
As for the question of why this happened, the most likely candidate is fraudulent transactions relating to Steam.
There have been increasing instances locally where individuals find large dollar amounts deducted from their bank accounts. Sometimes, this includes individuals who aren’t even Steam users.
An example of this sort of thing can be seen in the tweet below.
The comments below also show that this phenomenon has been experienced by others in the Maldives as well.
Here’s another instance of almost the same thing happening.
This phenomenon is also one that is common in the wider world and unfortunately, it is not a new one.
For instance, this Reddit thread from three years ago reads quite similar to the experience of the local individual mentioned above.
As things stand, the Bank of Maldives has not yet officially released any statement regarding the restrictions placed on Steam.
The only information available seems to be coming from interactions with their social media accounts.
As such, we have no idea when exactly it was implemented and most crucially, for how long this ban will last.
Another point worth noting is that other online game purchasing stores such as the PlayStation Network and the Nintendo Switch eShop remain unaffected.
In the meantime, here are some options for users interested to purchase Steam store gift cards.
We at Emmen Gaming recognize that PC gaming is one of the most accessible methods of gaming available to us locally and that Steam is a big part of making the hobby so easy to get into.
We wish to see this issue resolved in a way that both protects individuals from financial fraud and allows local PC gamers to enjoy their regularly scheduled gaming.