When the buzz around cryptocurrencies surged, traditional financial institutions began to take notice. Even reputable banks and payment platforms, which were previously opposed to the new money, have now expressed their interest in exploring blockchain as a viable technology to disrupt traditional banking.
But given the slow adoption rate, it’s clear that the industry still has its doubts. Other financial companies, however, spared no time and have started offering access to these digital assets. Let’s take a look at what these platforms and financial institutions offer, and other moves they made toward crypto.
5 Payment platforms and banks that accept crypto
PayPal is perhaps the earliest adopter among mainstream financial companies. Since 2021, the payment giant has been providing customers access to cryptocurrencies. Using the platform, customers can buy Bitcoin, LiteCoin, and Ether through their PayPal wallets online or on the mobile app. More importantly, users can now use their digital coin holdings to shop at PayPal’s extensive merchant network. This move sent waves to the traditional finance sector and is claimed to further inspire other companies to follow suit.
United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is a US-based Fortune 500 bank that caters to active, retired, and honorably discharged US military personnel, as well as civilian clients. Recently, it has folded cryptocurrency into its long list of financial services. The bank is also a major investor of Coinbase, which means users can use their USAA debit and credit cards to buy crypto and cash in their crypto profits. That said, customers can withdraw their profits in any of the 60,000 ATMs across the country.
BankProv, formerly The Provident Bank, claims to be one of the few banks in the US offering traditional banking services to consumers and businesses. It has recently made cryptocurrency a primary service, spanning various products including Bitcoin and Ether-backed lending and lines of credit for businesses. The modern bank also uses API technology to streamline its processes.
Mastercard & Visa
The introduction of stablecoins, or digital currencies pegged to a “stable” reserve asset like the fiat currency, gold, or any exchange-traded commodity, has made crypto more attractive to traditional financial institutions. Payment giants like Mastercard and Visa, for example, have allowed consumers to quickly and affordably convert stablecoins into fiat currencies.
Account holders may also buy crypto using their credit cards, giving investors more purchasing power. Both Mastercard and Visa also have partnerships with crypto trading platforms aimed at rewarding users with perks and streamlined transactions.
JP Morgan, a leading financial institution, takes the lead in revolutionizing traditional finance by being the first bank to open in the metaverse. It comes in the form of a virtual lounge in the NFT project Decentraland where investors can buy virtual real estate and NFTs using crypto. On top of that, the US lender has also rolled out its own digital coin for payments, the JPM Coin. The digital currency is designed to make instantaneous payments using blockchain technology.
How crypto can streamline and upgrade traditional banking
On the surface, it would seem like the banking industry is being forced to contend with crypto to avoid being left behind. But while some banks have doubts and concerns, many are looking ahead to crypto’s potential benefits, such as the following:
Lower processing fees
Instantaneous and cheaper overseas remittance
Additionally, cryptocurrency services could help legacy banks to not only cater to their existing clientele better but also to attract the underserved and unbanked. In fact, key institutions like NASDAQ, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs Group, UBS, and Westpac are all in the race to deploy blockchain technology to address points of friction across the banking and capital markets.
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