WARSAW, N.Y. — Five Star Bank (the “Bank”), a subsidiary of Financial Institutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:FISI), is pleased to announce a new partnership with NYDIG, a leading bitcoin company. As a premier provider of consumer and commercial lending services across the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, and Western regions of New York, the Bank will become one of the first financial institutions in the U.S. to enable its banking clients to securely buy, sell and hold bitcoin, powered by NYDIG.
The Bank will enable customers to transact bitcoin securely through its banking mobile app and online banking platform, and will help them overcome barriers to adoption such as crypto wallets and key management, which are often traditionally done through unregulated entities. Five Star Bank accountholders are anticipated to be eligible to transact bitcoin seamlessly and securely by the end of the second quarter.
“We are thrilled to introduce a new—and trusted—digital banking option for customers to effortlessly acquire, sell, hold, and manage bitcoin alongside their traditional financial assets,” said Martin K. Birmingham, CEO of Five Star Bank. “Thanks to NYDIG, we are creating a safe, efficient, and more user-friendly way for our customers to manage their digital transactions. Customer experience continues to be at the forefront of our focus at Five Star Bank, and we’re proud to bring forth a crypto currency investment solution that will broaden access to this emerging portfolio option for consumers within our geographic footprint and, frankly, across the country.”
NYDIG’s Bitcoin platform meets the industry’s highest regulatory, audit, and governance standards, enabling financial institutions, like Five Star Bank, to maintain strict compliance programs, while enhancing the digital banking experience for customers. NYDIG’s full-stack Bitcoin platform will create a secure and compliant environment for account holders to manage their bitcoin investments and check their balances alongside their traditional financial assets which is particularly innovative not only for the financial institution, but the banking industry.
“We knew it was in the best interest of our customers to build upon our digital service menu in a way that better supports their interests, including an investment appetite for cryptocurrency. This is an area of the market that we have all seen grow exponentially over the last several years,” said Sean Willett, chief administrative officer, Five Star Bank. “Some early investors have jumped into crypto headfirst, while most consumers have expressed an interest in a more secure and reliable way to transact bitcoin. We’re proud to be a part of that solution and view our partnership with NYDIG to be just one of many upcoming technology and banking-as-a-service innovations that will drive Five Star Bank forward.”
According to a 2021 survey commissioned by NYDIG, 81% of respondents said they’d be interested in purchasing bitcoin from their bank if the service was available. In that same survey, 71% of those responding who already owned the digital asset said they would be willing to switch their primary bank to one that offered Bitcoin-related products and services.
By integrating bitcoin along with the Bank’s suite of digital banking products, Five Star Bank hopes to not only meet current customer needs but reach new customers, including expanding outside the New York footprint.
Five Star Bank plans to begin roll out of Bitcoin services starting with an initial phase-in during the second quarter of this year. More details on timing and rollout will be made available in the near future.
NYDIG is a bitcoin company powering a more inclusive economic system. Delivering technology and financial services to banks, fintechs, insurers, and corporations, its full-stack bitcoin platform is built to the highest security, regulatory, and operational standards. NYDIG is the gateway to a new era of financial products that make bitcoin more accessible for all. Learn more at nydig.com, or connect on LinkedIn and Twitter.
About Five Star Bank
Five Star Bank is a $5 billion community bank offering a wide range of consumer and commercial banking and lending services to individuals, municipalities, and businesses through a network of more than 45 locations. Five Star Bank has a dedicated team of approximately 560 employees who are committed to giving back through a variety of non-profit organizations and neighborhood charities.
Five Star Bank offers a broad range of insurance services to personal and business clients through SDN Insurance Agency, LLC. Additionally, the Bank offers customized investment management, investment consulting, and retirement plan services to individuals, businesses, institutions, foundations and retirement plans through Courier Capital, LLC, HNP Capital, LLC and Five Star Investment Services. Additional Five Star Bank information is available at five-starbank.com and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Five Star Bank, SDN Insurance Agency, LLC, Courier Capital, LLC and HNP Capital, LLC are subsidiaries of Financial Institutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:FISI). Financial Institutions, Inc. stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. Additional information is available at fiiwarsaw.com.