Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange delves deeper into traditional financial services, allowing users to deposit paychecks directly into their online accounts.
Coinbase said Monday that its U.S. customers can take advantage of the direct deposit service for any percentage of their paychecks. You can keep your money in dollars or transfer it instantly in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin with no fees.
“With direct deposit, customers can more easily access our crypto-first financial services and be ready for any trade or purchase,” said Max Branzburg, Vice President of Product at Coinbase, in a blog post. “We are committed to delivering the most trusted full suite of crypto-first financial services to our 68 million users.”
The launch, which will go live in the coming weeks, comes after customers complained that frequent transfers from their bank accounts to Coinbase were “time-consuming and inconvenient,” the company said. Coinbase added that it aims to provide “instant access to the crypto-economy”.
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Coinbase said it will use an FDIC-insured banking partner for direct deposit, but did not specify which one. The company is partnering with MetaBank for its Coinbase Reward Card.
Other popular online finance apps already allow direct deposit. Online banking companies like Chime and SoFi offer the service as part of a broad portfolio of products, while PayPal and the stock trading app Robinhood also allow users to deposit their paychecks.
Coinbase is introducing new offers and at the same time trying to find its way in a complicated regulatory environment. Last week the company canceled plans for a high-yield loan product after the SEC threatened a lawsuit.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong called it “really sketchy behavior that recently came from the SEC”. Armstrong also said the agency refused to meet with the company and “gave no explanation as to why”.
SEC chairman Gary Gensler has stepped up his criticism of the cryptocurrency industry. In a testimony to the Senate Banking Committee earlier this month, Gensler called for more crypto oversight. He also asked Congress for additional resources to ensure investor protection, claiming that most digital assets traded must be registered with the agency.
Coinbase went public in April through a direct listing. The stock is down 40% since its debut, trading at $ 229.40 on Monday. Its movements often reflect Bitcoin’s volatility, which has decreased by 28% over the same period.
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