“We are the first bank in the state of Indiana to offer Bitcoin trading services to customers”: with this brief statement Star Bank, one of the leading financial institutions in the US state of Indiana, announced that it will offer its customers trading services on the major crypto assets.
The services will be offered through the Star Mobile Banking mobile app.
Who is Star Bank and why it has chosen to offer crypto services
Star Bank is a community bank based in Indiana. Its parent company, Star Financial Group, has $2.80 billion in assets with 36 locations in central and northeastern Indiana.
“STAR Bank is committed to providing personalized banking solutions through the innovative use of technology to support people on their financial journey. We want our customers to feel confident and competent engaging with emerging investment opportunities. That’s why we are excited to offer fully integrated bitcoin services in our mobile app leveraging the robust Alkami Platform”.
This was stated by Brian Avery, vice president, technology and digital strategy, STAR Bank.
Texas-based Alkami is one of the most popular fintech platforms in the US, providing cloud-based digital services to banks.
Stephen Bohanon, founder and chief strategy and sales officer of Alkami, explained:
“Alkami helps financial institutions achieve digital banking success by delivering the most advanced cloud-based digital banking platform on the market. Early technology adopters appreciate the importance of embracing Bitcoin opportunities. We are privileged to help STAR Bank remain on the forefront of digital banking by providing their valued customers with a streamlined entry ramp to buy, sell, and manage bitcoin under the trusted STAR brand”.
Morgan Stanley first US bank to offer crypto services
Morgan Stanley was the first US bank to offer its clients the ability to trade Bitcoin and major cryptocurrencies last May. However, access was restricted to those with assets of $5 million or more.
A few days later, Wells Fargo also allowed its wealthiest clients to invest in cryptocurrencies.
In July, JP Morgan was the first bank to open up the cryptocurrency market to retail customers. But hundreds of US banks have expressed interest in crypto services for their customers, according to NYDIG, a US fintech company that provides cryptocurrency services to banks and financial institutions.
NYDIG president Yan Zhao told CNBC:
“This is not just the banks thinking that their clients want bitcoin, they’re saying `We need to do this, because we see the data’. They’re seeing deposits going to the Coinbases and Galaxies and Krakens of the world”.