650 U.S. Banks Will Soon Be Able To Offer Bitcoin Purchases to 24 Million Customers

By Scott Chipolina

A deal between payments firm NCR and NYDIG has opened the way to approximately 650 banks in the United States offering Bitcoin purchases to their roughly 24 million customers across the country.

Per Forbes, the deal between digital assets management firm NYDIG—a sister company of Stone Ridge Asset Management—and NCR will enable community banks and credit unions to offer clients crypto trading through apps built by the payments provider.

“We’re firm believers in the benefits of crypto and the strategic application,” said Douglas Brown, NCR president of digital banking.

Per the details of this arrangement, participating banks will be able to avoid the regulatory steps involved in holding crypto for their customers directly. Instead, they will rely on NYDIG’s custodial services, and will generate revenue by charging transaction fees (among other transaction services).

“I think you’ll see cheaper transaction fees through the banks than what you have today in the marketplace. But the banks do get to determine what they want that transaction fee to be,” NYDIG’s head of bank solutions, Patrick Sells.

Brown also added that he expects crypto to demand more time on behalf of the banks’ customers. “Banking today is a daily or a couple of times a day activity for people, which is what we typically see. Crypto gets to an hourly or sub-hourly level of deepening engagement,” he said.

Demand for more crypto

A December 2020 survey—carried out by Cornerstone Advisors—found that nearly two-thirds of cryptocurrency holders would be willing to go through their bank as a means of investing in the industry.

At the time, only 2% of banks shared that enthusiasm. However, banking giants like JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley have recently made positive statements about the crypto industry. In fact, in December, JPMorgan Chase strategists suggested that Bitcoin could chip away at gold’s value.

Morgan Stanley’s Bitcoin exposure plans were detailed in SEC filings this April, and in June, the banking giant had been linked to four Bitcoin funds already.