Many Bitcoin enthusiasts around the world will have heard of FIDOR Bank by now, one of Europe’s leading banks as far as digital currency is concerned. In fact, FIDOR Bank recently partnered with Bitcoin.de – a leading European Bitcoin exchange – to offer instantaneous buying and selling of bitcoins. But FIDOR Bank’s expansion to the United Kingdom is not going as smoothly as they would like.
The UK Payment System Infrastructure – Nearly Impossible to Tackle
In order for FIDOR Bank to expand to the United Kingdom, they will need to gain access to the current UK payment system infrastructure. Unfortunately for Bitcoin enthusiasts, the UK is not keen on anything that has to do with Bitcoin or other digital currencies, and it looks like that stance will not be changing anytime soon.
FIDOR Bank originally wanted to launch their services in the UK at the end of March 2015, but were never able to meet that deadline. Not because of something wrong on their end, mind you, but rather because of the UK’s unwillingness to grant the German bank access to the country’s payment architecture.
There is one thing you need to understand about the UK payment infrastructure, the four major UK banks [HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Barclays] all have direct access to these systems. However, none of those major banks want FIDOR Bank as a customer, thus the German bank can not gain access to the infrastructure – banks blocking another bank from stealing their thunder, who would have guessed….
Access to the UK’s infrastructure is currently being investigated by the PSR [Payment Systems Regulator]. This investigation came from concerns raised about the current “limited choice of indirect access providers” or sponsor banks being available. You have to keep in mind that the outcome of this investigation can take up to 12 months before being revealed to the public.
FIDOR Bank Remains Optimistic
Even though this unwillingness is typical to UK banks – and not just there, but in nearly every country around the world – FIDOR Bank remains optimistic and hopes to launch their services in the UK by the end of 2015. Whether or not they will be able to meet that deadline remains to be seen, of course.
One of the reasons why major central banks are not in favor of FIDOR Bank’s modus operandi is because the German bank offers transparency and open access to their systems. The goal is to have developers create their interface and applications on top of FIDOR Bank’s systems, which is true to Bitcoin’s transparent and decentralized nature.
Even though FIDOR Bank was only founded in 2007, the German digital bank has made a lot of headway in other parts of the world such as Russia. Once services have been established in the United Kingdom – hopefully by the end of this year – FIDOR Bank will launch their US expansion plans.
The best part about FIDOR bank is that, despite being a bank by nature, customers do not suffer from any bank holidays or minimal business hours on Sunday. This is achieved by having no physical branches in any of the countries where FIDOR Bank services can be used. Furthermore, customers will have access to a modern banking service that promises simplicity and speed.
Speaking of speed, none of the functions offered by FIDOR Bank will take longer than 60 seconds to complete. This is a drastic change from the current financial infrastructure, where money transfers can take up to several business days before completion. Even “major” tasks such as applying for a bank loan won’t take more than 60 seconds to complete.