Viennese crypto and fintech firm Bitpanda has received a payment service provider license from Austria’s financial regulator. The development was reported by Cointelegraph auf Deutsch on April 4.
The license has reportedly been issued to Bitpanda Payments GmbH by the Austrian financial market authority (FMA) in accordance with the European Union’s Payment Services Directive 2(PSD2).
In force since January 2018, PDS2 introduced revised rules for payments service providers — whether traditional banks or fintech firms — across the European Economic Area (EEA) and the EU.
Bitpanda, which operates a retail crypto brokerage platform, has said in a press release on April 4 that the new license will allow it to widen its business model and offer new payment solutions to support its crypto offerings.
The announcement emphasizes that procurement of the license can help to erode barriers between the crypto space and the world of traditional finance.
Philipp Bohrn, one of Bitpanda Payments’ two managing directors, was reportedly managing director of the Association of Financial Service Providers in Austria’s chamber of commerce for 9 years prior to his role at Bitpanda. His colleague, Lukas Enzersdorfer-Konrad, was formerly Head of the Department of Digitalisation and Innovation at Austrian banking group Raiffeisen.
Enzersdorfer-Konrad has said the license will enable the cryptocurrency fintech to offer more “convenient and innovative features and services” that aim to make “digital assets spendable anywhere that users want.”
Across the globe, jurisdictions are adapting their existing regulatory regimes in light of the rapid changes to the payments landscape heralded by crypto, blockchain technologies and other fintech innovations. In Singapore, the country’s central bank broadened its framework for payments providers to include certain crypto payment tokens in November 2018.
In Japan, financial services company SBI Holdings secured a license as a registered electronic payments services provider for its joint operations with Ripple in September 2018.