To compete with crypto exchanges, US financial institutions will soon be able to offer cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to millions of their customers.
Digital asset management firm New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) and National Cash Register (NCR) have teamed up for a massive crypto engagement: 650 US community banks and credit unions will soon be able to offer Bitcoin (BTC) purchases, Forbes magazine reports.
Thanks to the collaboration, financial institutions that have found it a thorn in their side to watch crypto purchases from their accounts to external exchanges will have an entry point into the market they are eager to compete with.
24 million customers in total
Mobile apps, specifically developed by payments provider NCR, will introduce cryptocurrency trading to an estimated 24 million customers, giving them a quick way to buy and spend bitcoin within their existing accounts.
Financial institutions offering this capability will rely on NYDIG's custodial services, bypassing the challenging regulatory framework associated with actually holding cryptocurrencies for customers.
The 135-year-old Atlanta-based payments giant is a "firm believer" in the benefits and strategic application of cryptocurrencies, says Douglas Brown, NCR president of digital banking.
Brown to Forbes:
"And that applies to our banking relationships, as NYDIG shows, and through retailers and restaurants and the like."
NCR shares have risen 238% since March 2020 - when the pandemic broke out and quarantine regulations were imposed. These forced many banks to close their physical branches, while also spurring the expansion of financial technology service providers.
The company operates in 160 countries and offers services ranging from digital banking and ATMs to kiosks in restaurants.
Recently, the payments giant also partnered with crypto payments company Flexa and has since allowed customers to pay for petrol and other goods in 600 shops using Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Dogecoin (DOGE) and other cryptocurrencies.
According to market research firm RBR, NCR is the largest provider of self-service terminals in the world, excluding China, with a 53% share.
NCR serves a total of 180,000 restaurants, retail chains and more. They can now all opt for crypto payments and integrate coins like BTC, ETH or LTC. This should help crypto adoption tremendously in the long run, if all goes according to plan.