PostFinance, the fifth largest financial services company in Switzerland, announced that it would offer its customers access to cryptocurrencies thanks to a partnership with Sygnum Bank, a regulated services provider for digital assets.
PostFinance, wholly owned by the Swiss government, will initially offer its 2.5 million customers access to buy, store and sell leading cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), with more cryptocurrencies to be added in due course.
Switzerland is marching to the beat of its drum, starkly contrasting to countries like the U.S., where a concerted effort to eradicate cryptocurrencies is the ultimate goal. Sygnum, which specialized in cryptocurrencies and received a banking license from Swiss regulators about four years ago, serves a range of institutions, including cantonal banks and private banks.
“Digital assets have become an integral part of the financial world, and our customers want access to this market at PostFinance, their trusted principal bank,” Philipp Merkt, chief investment officer at PostFinance, said in a statement. “A reputable and established partner like Sygnum Bank with an excellent service offering is more important than ever.”
PostFinance‘s decision to enter the crypto space was driven in part by outflows from retail banks in Switzerland into the digital asset class, according to Fritz Jost, chief B2B officer at Sygnum Bank.
“PostFinance became aware of a significant number of outflows in the hundreds of millions per year to crypto exchanges and the like,” Jost said in an interview with CoinDesk. “So they saw that this is not only a way to add a new revenue stream, but they also realized that this has much to do with customer retention.”
Jost said a wide range of cryptocurrencies would be made available, but it has yet to be decided by PostFinance.