- The giant payments processor FIS, also known as Fidelity National Information Services, is locking arms with United Kingdom-based cryptocurrency exchange CEX.IO to offer a new line of debit cards in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, FIS said in a May 19 press release.
Jacksonville, Florida-based FIS will "provide card management and processing services for a new line of crypto-based consumer cards" to be issued by CEX.IO to its cryptocurrency customers, the release said. The FIS services will include "purchase authorization, risk management, and regulatory compliance."
- The new relationship builds on FIS's announcement earlier this month that it would enable its bank clients to offer their customers Bitcoin services, via an expanded partnership with NYDIG, a technology and financial services company focused on Bitcoin.
The new FIS-CEX.IO arrangement is an expansion of a tie-up the companies have had since last year, with CEX.IO earlier teaming with the FIS Worldpay unit.
"As cryptocurrencies continue to gain mainstream adoption, consumers are increasingly seeking simple, convenient payment methods for making crypto-based purchases using cards and other familiar financial products," FIS Head of Payment Solutions Kelly Beatty said in the release.
Companies have rushed this year to offer their clients cryptocurrency services or to link with crypto companies after a surge in the value of cryptocurrencies led by Bitcoin, the most popular among thousands of different cryptocurrencies. Despite the value of Bitcoin cooling in recent days, new crypto partnerships just keep coming.
FIS "expertise and industry know-how will help us simplify our business operations and help us seamlessly introduce virtual and physical cards to our customers," CEX.IO Executive Director Konstantin Anissimov said in the release regarding the latest FIS cooperation.
On the same day as the FIS-CEX.IO release, FIS President Bruce Lowthers underscored the FIS interest in cryptos when he spoke at a financial conference hosted by British bank Barclays. "We’ll be well-positioned to handle (cryptocurrencies) across the whole ecosystem in the marketplace," Lowthers said. "We think it’s a great (total addressable market) expansion for us."
In its prior partnership with NYDIG, FIS offered its bank clients Bitcoin trading and custodial services, allowing the banks to let their account-holders buy, sell and hold the cryptocurrency.
Other players in the payments ecosystem have been equally eager to embrace cryptocurrencies this year. Visa, the credit and debit card behemoth, has rolled out a variety of new services related to cryptocurrencies and its rival Mastercard earlier this month partnered with the U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Gemini to issue a new credit card.