Swiss postal service PostFinance is stepping up its efforts to provide customers with access to cryptocurrencies. The range of services will be rolled out over the next few years.
PostFinance is already offering customers access to cryptocurrency through its Yuh digital app. At launch, the app supported 13 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, allowing customers to make payments, save funds, or invest in various assets. In addition, the postal service also introduced the world’s first cryptocurrency stamp aiming to “bridge the gap between the physical world of stamps and the digital crypto-universe.”
The new service relies heavily on a collaboration with Swissquote, which became the first Swiss bank to offer cryptocurrency trading for retail clients in 2017. But PostFinance now appears poised to go into direct competition with its business partner with an “independent” trading and custody service by the start of 2024 “at the latest,” according to the announcement.
PostFinance said it was time to ramp up the bank's cryptocurrency offering despite the apparent start of another period of price stagnation known as the “crypto winter.” “Our clients want direct access to this market through their house bank,” says PostFinance head of retail banking Sandra Lienhart. “Given the growing institutionalization [of cryptocurrencies] in the last 18 months, this is the ideal time to enter the market.”
PostFinance service is expected to primarily focus on trading and custody of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, although it is reportedly in talks with other partners to build more product offerings.
If the plan is successful, PostFinance will become the second bank in Switzerland to offer crypto trading services after Swissquote, which was the first to start offering the services.
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