Before reaching out to a potential banking partner, it’s wise to know both what they can offer and what they’ll expect.
Choosing the right banking partner can be a particularly tricky process for a crypto or blockchain company. While there are many options in the market, only a few will possess the experience, commitment and risk tolerance companies in a young and tech-forward industry need. And simply making a choice won’t seal the deal: Crypto and blockchain entrepreneurs must have the detailed information banks will demand at their fingertips and be ready to reciprocate the transparency they themselves expect from a financial partner.
There’s a lot of homework to be done before beginning any sort of outreach, so knowing what to look for as you begin the research is a helpful head start. Below, nine members of Cointelegraph Innovation Circle share their advice for crypto and blockchain companies that are beginning the process of choosing a banking partner.
Review the bank’s history with your niche and its corporate footprint
Look at the bank’s background supporting other companies in your specific niche. Be cognizant of treaties or laws applicable to the bank’s corporate entity and any privacy-related concerns those could raise for you or your users. Ensure that the bank values ethics, compliance and due diligence, because the way they behave with you will be the same way they behave against you should the need arise. – Jason Fernandes, AdLunam Inc.
Look for solid compliance and risk-management policies
Look for a banking partner that’s well-versed in the crypto regulatory landscape. Always make a point to prioritize (with caution) a banking partner that comprehends the intricacies of the industry and has solid compliance and risk-management policies. There should also be alignment on your company goals and the cadence of executing your company vision. – Vinita Rathi, Systango
Examine the bank’s relationships with regulators
One of the most important criteria for crypto companies to keep in mind is a bank’s regulatory compliance so as to maximize lawfulness and security. Companies should do their due diligence and research how closely banks are working with regulators, their previous track record with crypto companies and their level of risk tolerance. – Anthony Georgiades, Pastel Network
Look for agility and readiness to adapt to changing regulations
It is essential to choose a compliant bank that can benefit your company for a long time to come. Due to the ever-changing regulatory landscape of cryptocurrency, ensure that your banking partner is agile in this respect and has a thorough understanding of Anti-Money Laundering regulations and Know Your Customer checks to ensure your company continuously operates in a compliant manner. – Sheraz Ahmed, STORM Partners
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Get references from other client companies
Do your due diligence by checking the bank’s background and track records and getting references from other companies in your network that have used or are using the bank. Do not put all your eggs in one basket. Have an alternative ready in case something suddenly happens to the bank. – Sharon Yip, Polygon Advisory Group, LLC
Pay close attention to the security and tech infrastructure
Thoroughly analyze the bank’s security and technology infrastructure. You need a bank that prioritizes vigorous security measures and uses the latest technologies. This will give you peace of mind that your money is safe. Further, there is a higher chance a tech-savvy banking partner will be able to smoothly integrate your existing systems and processes. – Bogomil Stoev, Seasonal Tokens
Prioritize transparency around policies
When choosing a banking partner, it’s crucial for crypto and blockchain companies to find a bank that understands their unique needs and is willing to work with them. Look for a bank with experience in the industry and a willingness to be transparent about its policies regarding crypto-related transactions. – Theo Sastre-Garau, NFTevening
Thoroughly prepare your presentation and documentation
Finding a crypto-friendly banker is an arduous task, so being thoroughly prepared with your company presentation is of the utmost importance. Crypto-friendly banks have a long list of prospective companies, so when preparing, be sure to include all necessary and proper company documentation for packaging your blockchain solution. This will go a long way in speeding up an already tenuous process. – Chris Groshong, CoinStructive, Inc.
Ensure there’s clear separation between your multiple business lines
If you have multiple lines of business, you must maintain a clear separation between your crypto and/or DeFi business and your other businesses. If the bank you use for your traditional business thinks there is any chance you are commingling funds, it will immediately close your accounts, and your relationship with that bank will unceremoniously end. – Brad Spannbauer, Currency Hub
This article was published through Cointelegraph Innovation Circle, a vetted organization of senior executives and experts in the blockchain technology industry who are building the future through the power of connections, collaboration and thought leadership. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Cointelegraph.