The former head of technology at Barclays, Mark Hipperson, is launching a digital bank called Ziglu that will serve both crypto and fiat accounts, according to a report by Cointelegraph.
In addition to working at Barclays, Hipperson was the former CTO at Starling, a U.K. challenger bank.
The accounts at Ziglu will be free and able to have multiple currencies, and people will be able to easily exchange them. Customers will be able to buy foreign money at Interbank rates, and cryptocurrency will also be available through multiple exchanges.
Customers will be able to be spend any currency they have using a Mastercard debit card.
Hipperson has been the CEO of Ziglu since September of 2018. The bank has applied to the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to be able to issue money.
The pre-launch applications are only being taken from U.K. residents, although they will eventually be expanded. “While we intend to expand our offerings to other countries in due course, currently only U.K.-residents who are at least 18 years of age may use our services and are eligible to apply for a Ziglu account,” the bank noted.
Other companies are offering similar services, such as Bitwala, which offers an account with a bitcoin wallet as well as Ethereum functionality. However, the ability to offer multiple fiat currencies, as well as crypto and a card that allows for spending at any time, could push Ziglu into the mainstream.
In other U.K. banking news, open banking could soon be expanded to allow for data sharing between a much larger range of finance companies, according to the FCA. Open banking allows customers to share their financial data with other people and companies. In turn, those companies may offer recommendations to switch to a different financial institution for a better deal. The idea is to give customers more knowledge and control over their finances. The newly proposed open sharing rules would allow for a broader range of payment companies and other institutions to share financial data (with user consent).