Lloyds Banking Group’s 30 million customers could use cryptos for payments

By Raffaele Redi

The UK banking group is exploring allowing its 30 million customers to use cryptocurrencies for payment

City worker seen leaving the Lloyds office building in London                                 
A worker leaves the Lloyds office in the City of London – Photo: Shutterstock
                                

Leading UK financial services provider Lloyds Banking Group is exploring the possibility of allowing its 30 million customers to use cryptocurrencies as a way of payment.

Although the group previously voiced its scepticism about cryptocurrencies a few months ago, it has since said it wants “to keep pace with this change and explore opportunities in digital currencies”.

In line with its stated desire to “support the expansion of payment services for banks”,  the group is now seeking to hire a “Digital Currency & Innovation Senior Manager”.

In the job ad, the company asks the candidate to “identify risks and potential causes requiring engagement with key partners to overcome barriers” and “develop payments use cases initiating business or investments orientated around the use of digital currencies”.

The adverstisement further stated that: “The outlook for digital assets has shifted markedly as many factors have converged to make them ready for the possibility of wider adoption.

“Regulatory clarity is improving while central banks are actively exploring digital currencies. 86% are running pilots, and certain geographies, e.g. China, are close to going live.”

Cautious on bitcoin but…

Only a few months ago, Lloyds Bank, the retail banking arm of the group, warned investors about bitcoin, suggesting it was best to use cryptocurrencies in small doses as a hedge against any weakness in the dollar or major disruptions in the global financial system.

“As mainstream investors increasingly embrace bitcoin, its value as a diversification tool is diminishing; as a result, there’s no guarantee that adding bitcoin will improve a portfolio’s risk-adjusted returns, especially to the same extent it did in the past,” advised Lloyds.

However, in view of the rapid pace at which technology continues to evolve, the potential for bitcoin to be incorporated into traditional financial services has grown.

“There are some compelling arguments in favour of bitcoin as an alternative currency and as a commodity that can help support new technologies, such as smart contracts and more-efficient financial transactions with built-in encryption,” said the bank.

As the Group further explained in its advertisement, “As a business, we must keep pace with this change and explore opportunities in digital currencies that will impact the speed in which payments settle, derive liquidity benefits and support the expansion of payment services for banks. There is also the potential to extend this offering to our 30 million customers.”

LLOY price history

Date Close Change Change(%) Open High Low
Dec 3, 2021 0.4636 -0.0050 -1.07% 0.4686 0.4762 0.4621
Dec 2, 2021 0.4687 -0.0053 -1.12% 0.4740 0.4740 0.4633
Dec 1, 2021 0.4739 0.0014 0.30% 0.4725 0.4779 0.4724
Nov 30, 2021 0.4678 0.0015 0.32% 0.4663 0.4709 0.4542
Nov 29, 2021 0.4662 0.0013 0.28% 0.4649 0.4729 0.4620
Nov 26, 2021 0.4580 -0.0162 -3.42% 0.4742 0.4742 0.4531
Nov 25, 2021 0.4957 0.0022 0.45% 0.4935 0.4959 0.4901
Nov 24, 2021 0.4935 -0.0040 -0.80% 0.4975 0.5003 0.4931
Nov 23, 2021 0.4974 0.0014 0.28% 0.4960 0.5019 0.4902
Nov 22, 2021 0.4960 0.0066 1.35% 0.4894 0.4970 0.4885
Nov 19, 2021 0.4911 -0.0059 -1.19% 0.4970 0.5029 0.4824
Nov 18, 2021 0.4969 -0.0032 -0.64% 0.5001 0.5014 0.4943
Nov 17, 2021 0.5001 0.0025 0.50% 0.4976 0.5082 0.4976
Nov 16, 2021 0.4979 0.0037 0.75% 0.4942 0.4992 0.4942
Nov 15, 2021 0.4943 0.0056 1.15% 0.4887 0.4975 0.4884
Nov 12, 2021 0.4928 -0.0043 -0.87% 0.4971 0.5007 0.4916
Nov 11, 2021 0.4987 0.0091 1.86% 0.4896 0.5011 0.4896
Nov 10, 2021 0.4896 0.0069 1.43% 0.4827 0.4942 0.4812
Nov 9, 2021 0.4827 -0.0053 -1.09% 0.4880 0.4889 0.4800
Nov 8, 2021 0.4910 0.0040 0.82% 0.4870 0.4945 0.4842

Read more: Jerome Powell: digital dollar will reduce demand for cryptocurrencies 

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