Following last year’s successful pilot program, the Texas-based financial services company, USAA (United States Automobile Association), recently announced that all members now have the option to view their Coinbase account information – such as their bitcoin balance. This functionality will soon be available on the financial giant’s mobile app.
This move shouldn’t come as a surprise; the managing director of corporate development at USAA, Alex Marquez, told Reuters a year ago, “We have serious interest in the blockchain and we think the technology would have an impact on the organization. The fact that we have such a large group of people working on this shows how serious we are about the potential of this technology”.
The USAA project lead, Darrius Jones, spoke with CoinDesk who described this project as one of the fastest ever completed by USAA. CoinDesk reported that Jones “[indicated] that it took his team just 90 days to introduce the option, respond to user feedback and then release it to its wider membership.”
CoinDesk also reported that “Jones said that the balance check option may not seem sophisticated, but that it was the end result of careful consideration on how the firm could best offer a bitcoin service given that the technology suffers from a lack of regulatory clarity.”
They stayed away from transactions and such because it was a potential risk, “We chose to focus on a view-only option because that’s the guidance, that’s been the clearest that we can see. We’ve chosen to stay away from transactions and that potential risk”.
The lead investment associate for USAA’s Corporate Development team, Jon Cholak, has been researching cryptocurrency since 2014 and doesn’t shy away new technology or trends. He wants USAA to be a trendsetter with this bitcoin move; saying, “Traditionally, USAA is very good about getting in front of emerging technology trends, What we’re developing is at the forefront of the financial services industries.”
A software engineer at USAA, Donald Berg, said that “Bitcoin could easily be the currency of tomorrow”.
So far, over 11,000 USAA members have Coinbase accounts.