Raiffeisen Bank to Launch Crypto Trading for Retail Consumers in January 2024

Raiffeisen Bank partnered with Bitpanda to offer its consumers retail cryptocurrency trading opportunities. The new service will be made available by the end of January 2024.

Raiffeisen Bank has finally made a move to introduce cryptocurrency trading for its retail consumers. The new functionality will be rolled out by the end of January 2024. Initially, crypto trading will be made available to customers based in Vienna, where the institution is headquartered. If the launch succeeds, the service will likely be offered to consumers in other locations.

The news has been long expected. In April this year, the bank signed a letter of intent with Bitpanda, also a Vienna-headquartered company and Europe's leading crypto trading platform.

"Examination of the partnership with Bitpanda aims to add an innovative, secure aspect to our product range and to enable all customers to easily accumulate wealth," said Michael Höllerer, general director of Raiffeisenlandesbank NÖ-Wien, in a press release.

The reconnaissance proved to be fruitful. The new service will allow the bank's customers to enter Bitpanda through the Raiffeisen app on their mobile devices. "The experience will be familiar, so confirming a trade will work exactly like an account-to-account bank transfer with the same sort of security customers are used to," Curt Chadha, the bank's head of innovation, said in an interview with CoinDesk. He added that the new functionality is targeted at tech-savvy consumers interested in small-scale investments rather than millionaires.

The initiative is Raiffeisen's first significant step towards embracing cryptocurrencies. The bank made forays into the blockchain space before but didn't get close to offering crypto services for retail consumers until it joined forces with Bitpanda.

In 2019, the institution partnered with Billon, a Polish fintech company and a proprietary blockchain provider, to develop its own tokenization platform for facilitating cross-border payments and creating currency-agnostic coin. Overall, the platform is intended as "an architecture that can become the backbone for many enterprise applications."