Updated 09 Jul, 2021

Deal Could Allow 650 US Banks to Offer Crypto to 24M Customers

Deal could allow 650 US banks to offer crypto to 24M customers

Key Takeaways:

  • NCR and NYDIG to partner in an effort to allow 24 million customers to own bitcoin
  • NCR will be providing access to bitcoin, while NYDIG will act as a custodian

The Partnership Aims to Give Broader Access to Bitcoin Trading

Payments giant NCR and New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) have come together to bring Bitcoin trading and investing to 650 banks. The large-scale initiative is a response to the heightened demand from NCR banking clients whose customers have been looking to outside exchanges to purchase cryptocurrencies.

NYDIG made the announcement last week via Twitter saying that the digital banking platforms provided by NCR “will offer turnkey access to Bitcoin for Main Street banks.” All platforms combined, according to the statement, reach more than 24 million customers across 650 US banks.

NCR is a leading enterprise technology provider and its services are used globally by more than 15,000 banks and credit unions. The company also serves 180,000 restaurants, hotels, and more. On the other end of the deal is NYDIG, a bitcoin technology, and financial services subsidiary of Stone Ridge, an asset manager that oversees more than $10bn of assets.

The deal between the two companies will aim to allow NCR to offer bitcoin on its own applications used by its banking clients. NYDIG will be providing custody services. That way, banks will avoid the need to deal with burdensome regulatory requirements in relation to directly holding cryptocurrencies for their customers.

NYDIG Expects Transaction Fees to be Lower Than Current Levels

“We’re firm believers in the benefits of crypto and the strategic application,” says NCR President of digital banking Douglas Brown. “And that’s true for our banking relationships, as evidenced by NYDIG, and across retailers as well as restaurants and the like.”

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

The joint effort by NCR and NYDIG is one of the latest moves by financial institutions to meet the rising demand by individuals and institutions who want to get access to bitcoin. Some of the largest investment banks are already offering or preparing to offer certain types of access to bitcoin products. Goldman Sachs, for example, recently restarted its bitcoin trading desk, allowing clients to own bitcoin futures. Morgan Stanley has added bitcoin exposure to 12 mutual funds, while UBS, the largest wealth manager in the world, is planning to offer cryptos to its clients.