Swedish bitcoin exchange makes British banking partnership

A Swedish bitcoin exchange has entered into a British banking partnership to add local payment options for customers in the UK.

Safello now supports CHAPS, BAC and Faster Payments, a move which the company says just might spark a “wave of interest” in the “underserved” British market for buying bitcoin, CoinDesk reports.

“Hopefully we are at the start of wider bitcoin adoption in the UK,” added Frank Schuil, Safello’s CEO and co-founder. Schuil confirmed that the company has partnered with a London bank rather than an intermediary financial services company, but did not say which.

Even UK bitcoin startups have so far been required to bank elsewhere in the EU, with many British financial institutions unwilling to involve themselves in the crypto-currency business.

Customers have had to deposit funds using slow, expensive options such as international bank wire or SEPA transfers.

Schuil added that many banks are reluctant to involve themselves with the risk-associated bitcoin industry, and fear damaging their relationship with other banks by doing so.

“That is why challenger banks are often on the forefront of bitcoin adoption. Additionally, the perceived AML [anti-money laundering] risk often outweighs the perceived reward at this stage of the market,” he told CoinDesk.

Safello, however, has taken the time to build trust with potential banking partners to secure the partnership. Schuil expects other banks to follow suit with similar partnerships in the future.

Safello raised two $600,000 and $250,000 funding rounds since its inception in 2013, as well as a continual run of new services. Just this year the company partnered with Jumio for instant ID verification, launched a free bitcoin fundraising service for charities, and announced a new social-media inspired bitcoin wallet.

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