Customers Bank plans to offer banking and blockchain-based payments to crypto firms by October
The West Reading, Pennsylvania-based bank plans to offer basic accounts to crypto firms as well as a blockchain-based platform that allows them to send dollars to each other in real-time.
Tue, 24 Aug 2021, 05:11 am UTC
Despite the rising popularity of digital currencies, most banks are still reluctant to offer financial services to crypto firms. However, a few financial institutions are bucking the trend and have decided to cater to the banking needs of businesses in the crypto sector.
One of the latest to join the small list of FDIC-insured financial institutions in the U.S. willing to offer banking services to crypto firms is Customers Bank, according to Coindesk. The West Reading, Pennsylvania-based bank revealed that it plans to offer basic accounts to crypto firms as well as a blockchain-based platform that allows them to send dollars to each other in real-time.
“We are well-positioned to be a great third banking option that can offer a strong offering to the digital asset space,” Customers Bank head of digital assets Cameron Somers said. “The main focus is to build a low-cost deposit franchise very similar to what Signature Bank and what Silvergate Bank has done.”
Most U.S. banks are reluctant to offer financial services to crypto firms due to concerns about know-your-customers (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) requirements. Once Customers Bank rolls out its services, it will be competing with New York-based Signature and California-based Silvergate that are also offering the same type of services for crypto firms.
“Customers continue to try to find ways to be involved, engaged, and interested in the cryptocurrency world,” Customers Bank vice chair and chief operating officer Sam Sidhu said. “Some banks might offer rewards or custody services to consumers. We are focused on the businesses that may directly or indirectly service those customers.”
Customers Bank will initially work with ten to 15 clients to test its blockchain-based payments platform in September. The bank partnered with tech provider Tassat for this service, which is expected to roll out to the rest of its clientele starting in October.
“Once we have a fully functional ecosystem with a number of different types of institutions on that platform then the idea would be to continue to expand from there and then potentially build on some additional products and features within our offering,” explained Somers.
In terms of size, Customers Bank has assets of $19.6 billion and is only around 0.52 percent the size of JPMorgan. Tassat has been focusing on small to mid-sized financial institutions to market its products and services.
“The nation’s largest banks are experimenting with blockchain to launch new services and attract deposits and customers, often away from small and midsize institutions,” Tassat CEO Ron Totaro said. “What they have—that small and midsize institutions don’t—is an expansive budget, teams, and ability to experiment. In contrast, small and midsize banks need to see ROI from every cent they spend on technology.”
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