Raiffeisen Bank will first roll out the services to small-scale customers who can invest as little as one euro in the country’s capital city of Vienna and the historic headquarters of the 97-year-old bank where most residents live.
Austria’s financial landscape is gearing up for a major transformation as Raiffeisen Bank International announces the launch of its crypto trading services for retail customers, CoinDesk reported, citing an interview with the company’s head of innovation, Curt Chadha.
According to the report, the bank partnered with the Vienna-based digital assets trading platform Bitpanda to provide new offerings to customers in the region. The company plans to make the crypto trading services available to its retail customers starting next year, January 2024.
Raiffeisen Bank to Roll Out Retail Crypto Services in Vienna
In April, the bank and Bitpanda signed a strategic partnership to offer banking customers the opportunity to join the crypto bandwagon with several investment options. Both companies signed a letter of intent to cooperate in the new venture, with Bitpanda providing its platform as the desired choice for the bank’s customers.
Under the partnership, the bank customers will have access to Bitpanda’s product offerings, trading over 250 different cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
After months of partnership, Raiffeisen Bank, boasting assets exceeding $215 billion and a customer base of 17.8 billion across the European Union and Eastern Europe, is now planning to expand the services to retail customers in response to the escalating global adoption of cryptocurrencies, especially in regions witnessing regulatory clarity.
In the interview, Chadha outlined the target demographic for the new retail service, highlighting its appeal to digitally savvy customers seeking entry into the burgeoning crypto market with modest investments.
According to Chadha, the bank will first roll out the services to small-scale customers who can invest as little as one euro in the country’s capital city of Vienna and the historic headquarters of the 97-year-old bank where most residents live.
Retail Crypto Trading Services Available on the Bank’s App
Chadha explained that the crypto trading process mirrors customers’ familiar interface for account-to-account bank transfers. To purchase digital assets such as BTC and Ether, the bank said that users can access the Bitpanda platform using their mobile phones through the Raiffeisen app.
“The customer can use their mobile device to enter Bitpanda through the Raiffeisen app. The experience will be familiar, so confirming a trade will work exactly like an account-to-account bank transfer with the same security customers are used to,” Chadha said.
Meanwhile, the financial landscape in Austria is witnessing increased engagement with the crypto industry. Earlier this year, Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederosterreich-Wien (RLB NO-Wien), an Austrian cooperative banking company founded in 1900, expanded its portfolio by introducing crypto investment options alongside existing offerings such as investment services for stocks, exchange-traded funds, precious metals, and commodities.
As a key player with a 22.6% stake in Raiffeisen Bank, RLB NO-Wien has also actively explored the development of a digital currency in the country.
In 2020, the global Raiffeisen bank initiated the construction of a platform for national currency tokenization using blockchain technology. The bank’s commitment to innovation is further demonstrated through its involvement in trade finance pilots, collaborating with R3’s Marco Polo blockchain network.