An Indian bank is preparing to start providing crypto banking services at its physical bank branches. Customers can buy bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies at these branches with Indian rupees, open savings accounts with crypto wallets, make loans against their cryptocurrencies, and more.
Crypto Banking at Physical Bank Branches in India
Cryptocurrency users in India will soon be able to visit physical bank branches for crypto banking services as well as learn about cryptocurrency investing. This is due to a partnership, announced Monday, between crypto banking platform Cashaa and The United Multistate Credit Co. Operative Society (United), as part of Cashaa’s expansion plan in India. The United is a member of the National Federation of Urban Co-operative Banks and Credit Societies Ltd.
Dinesh Kukreja, Managing Director of United Multistate Credit Co. Operative Society, will be the CEO of the joint venture between the two companies. The announcement details:
The joint venture, Unicas, will build the world’s first crypto-friendly financial institution with physical branches and operations.
“Unicas will enable people to access traditional banking services along with crypto banking services both online and through its 22 physical branches across north India,” the announcement adds. Customers will be able to buy cryptocurrencies with cash at these physical branches, “Open saving accounts with crypto wallets … Loan against cryptocurrencies, gold, and real estate … [and] Invest in cryptocurrencies, bonds, and fixed deposits.”
A spokesperson for Cashaa confirmed to news.Bitcoin.com that “Currently, there are 22 active branches and the Unicas operations will start in December … we will be ready with 22 branches.” The companies had planned to launch crypto banking services at 34 branches. However, he explained that “Due to the covid situation opening up the remaining is a bit challenging … We are seeing a slow opening from the lockdown.”
Cashaa detailed: “Initially account holders will be able to buy and sell bitcoin (BTC), cashaa (CAS), ethereum (ETH), binance (BNB), bitcoin cash (BCH), EOS, litecoin (LTC) and ripple (XRP) in cash or with the account balance in Indian rupees.”
Crypto Lounges at Indian Bank Branches
“The United’s existing branches will be transformed and modernized as Crypto Lounges,” Cashaa described, noting that “Members can walk into any of these branches and get educated about cryptocurrencies along with other banking services.”
The spokesperson further shared with news.Bitcoin.com: “We will educate them on investment opportunities, utilities of bitcoin and other cryptos, how to use and store crypto, etc.” He clarified that non-bank customers “will have access to general material, but the usage of lounges are for bank customers.” Cashaa emphasized:
The immediate plan is to open these Crypto Lounges in Delhi, Gujarat, and Rajasthan covering a population of 150 million Indians living in these states.
Kukreja commented: “By increasing our exposure to emerging technologies, we are aiming to rapidly expand to over 100 physical branches by 2021, employing thousands of skilled professionals in India,” noting:
Our savings bank account holders will also be able to use their cryptocurrencies as collaterals to take loans, like any other traditional loan given by banks.