Raiffeisen Bank in Austria is set to launch cryptocurrency trading services for retail customers by the end of January 2024. The initial rollout will be in Vienna, the bank’s 97-year-old headquarters, in collaboration with Bitpanda, a cryptocurrency exchange that had previously signed a letter of intent with the bank earlier in the year.
Curt Chadha, the bank’s head of innovation, highlighted that the service would commence in Vienna, home to about a quarter of Austria’s population. Customers can access Bitpanda through the Raiffeisen app on their mobile devices. The user experience is designed to be familiar, with trade confirmations functioning similarly to account-to-account bank transfers, ensuring the same level of security customers are accustomed to.
This strategic move by Raiffeisen Bank, boasting $215 billion in assets and serving 17.8 million customers across the European Union and eastern Europe, underscores the increasing adoption of cryptocurrencies, especially in regions where regulatory clarity is emerging.
Chadha explained that the service targets digitally savvy customers, emphasizing that it is tailored for those interested in making smaller investments. This approach stands in contrast to offerings from other banks, which often cater to high-net-worth individuals with substantial investment amounts.
Bitpanda, founded in Vienna in 2014, operates under the supervision of the FMA in Austria and BaFin in Germany. The platform enables companies to provide regulated trading, investment, and custody services for a diverse range of assets, including stocks/ETFs, cryptocurrencies, precious metals, and commodities.