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Merchants, FIs Want Crypto-as-a-Service Providers With Payments, Banking and Tech Expertise

As cryptocurrency digs deeper into the mainstream, more and more companies find their customers are asking about it.

That means banks and financial services firms want to offer the ability to buy, sell and trade digital assets before their customers go elsewhere to get them, but it also means merchants want to offer customers the ability to pay with their bitcoin, ether, litecoin and other cryptocurrencies. They may also want to use Paxos’ pax dollar stablecoin, or USDP.

That is why Nium, a global payments and card issuance firm that can move money in 45 countries and make disbursements in 190 — 85 of them in real time — has created a new Crypto-as-a-Service (CaaS) solution that lets clients integrate and embed cryptocurrency services via application programming interfaces (APIs).

“Crypto has become a very trendy thing today,” Joaquín Ayuso, head of crypto at Nium, told PYMNTS recently. “More and more mainstream consumers are moving into crypto. And these APIs will enable our clients to offer these services very seamlessly to their end users without having to deal with the regulatory and compliance burdens crypto currently brings.”

Related: Nium Helps Crypto-Fiat Gateway Alchemy Expand

That includes processing transactions, but also handling all know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) checks, he said.

“Regulations around crypto do not exist yet in most of the countries,” Ayuso added, “and in those countries where it exists, it adds a lot of complexity in terms of what you can do and cannot do.”

CaaS lets clients offer services ranging from trading crypto to building liquidity pools to complex and security-intensive custody requirements, partnering with top exchanges and custody services.

“We’re getting a lot of demand from neobanks and FinTechs that are looking to offer these services without having to go through the hassles of dealing with crypto [themselves],” Ayuso said. “We take care of all of that.”

Finance First

Nium’s biggest differentiator is not a crypto service that it provides, but rather its roots in the payments industry, with global services including pay-outs, pay-ins, card issuance and Banking-as-a-Service.

This includes a license portfolio covering 11 jurisdictions with the most complex money movement licenses in the world, he added.

“That gives us a very different approach and a very different offering,” Ayuso said. “We cover jurisdictions that others don’t cover today, thanks to our licensing. And we depend on ourselves to do that rather than having to layer on top of other companies. So, our offering is more seamless and easier to use and obviously cheaper.”

It also means Nium understands the needs of the financial institutions that are its biggest crypto customers.

“Their approach to crypto is very conservative,” Ayuso said. “They want to take the right steps. As a FinTech, we can move a little bit faster than them.”

See also: How Credit Unions and FinTechs Can Help Each Other

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