Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International has announced plans to offer cryptocurrency trading services to its retail clients.
This pioneering step will begin by the end of January 2024, marking a new era in the bank’s 97-year history.
Raiffeisen Bank to launch user-friendly crypto trading services
These services are scheduled to launch in January 2024 and will be offered in collaboration with crypto exchange Bitpanda. The initial deployment will take place in Vienna, where around a quarter of Austria’s population lives.
Curt Chadha, Head of Innovation at Raiffeisen Bank, highlighted the user-friendliness of the new service, saying: “The customer can use their mobile device to access Bitpanda through the Raiffeisen app. The experience will be familiar, so confirming a transaction will work just like an account-to-account bank transfer with the same security customers are accustomed to.
Raiffeisen Bank, with assets totaling approximately $215 billion and serving 17.8 million customers in the European Union and Eastern Europe, sees this step as an opportunity to meet the needs of a population tech-savvy and looking for safe and diversified investment options.
This group includes customers willing to make small investments in digital currencies instead of larger investments typically associated with wealthier individuals.
Partnership with Bitpanda to enable diversified offers
Bitpanda, established in 2014 in Vienna, operates under the supervision of the Austrian company FMA and BaFin in Germany. The platform enables regulated trading of various assets including stocks, ETFs, precious metals and cryptocurrencies, providing a comprehensive suite for modern investors.
The partnership with Bitpanda is significant as it will enable Raiffeisen Bank to offer a diverse range of regulated trading, investment and custody services.
Bitpanda had signed a letter of intent to cooperate with Raiffeisen Bank earlier this year, indicating that the two were working together to offer cryptocurrencies to the lender’s clients.
Michael Höllerer, chief executive of Raiffeisenlandesbank NÖ-Wien, who oversees the bank’s operations in Vienna and the neighboring region, said at the time that exploring their collaboration with Bitpanda was aimed at introducing a new secure dimension to their offerings which he believes, will enable all clients to create their wealth in a practical manner.
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