Australian neo-bank Volt partners with crypto exchange BTC Markets

Sept 6 (Reuters) - Australian neo-bank Volt said on Monday it had partnered with BTC Markets (BTCM) to provide integrated banking capabilities to the crypto-currency exchange, a first-of-its-kind deal in the country.

Neo-banks rely on digital technologies to break into the banking market with low-cost offers and have been licensed in Australia in recent years to improve competition as the “Big Four” lenders dominate nearly 80% of the market.

The Volt-BTCM partnership comes at a time of a marked shift towards online banking and payment, and which effectively led to the growth of neo-banks and other alternate financial platforms.

The deal will provide BTCM, which has around 325,000 Australian customers, access to a corporate cash management account with real-time notifications and payment automation, the companies said.

BTCM will invite its customers to open Volt bank accounts in the coming months for real-time trading, they said.

The firms added that the total of all deposits in Volt accounts are covered by protection of up to a maximum of A$250,000 ($185,900) per account holder under the Financial Claims Scheme.

Earlier this year, Australia’s banking watchdog initiated stricter requirements for companies seeking banking licenses and increased scrutiny of new entrants in the market, highlighting concerns around “neo-banks”.

$1 = 1.3448 Australian dollars Reporting by Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips