BTC Markets confirms POLi support is dead but NPP is on the cards

Angus Kidman 17 January 2018

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The Australian crypto exchange is examining options for the New Payments Platform.

Australian cryptocurrency exchange BTC Markets has confirmed that it won't be reintroducing POLi as a payment option for its customers, but says it is considering options for integrating with the New Payments Platform being rolled out this year across Australian banks and other financial institutions.

Earlier this month, BTC Markets dropped its support for making deposits to pay for cryptocurrency purchases through POLi. At the time, it wasn't clear if POLi would be reintroduced. Using POLi allowed customers to make deposits without having to directly share bank details, though it attracted a $3.30 service charge. BTC Markets is continuing to allow payments through BPAY and has eliminated a previous $500 minimum amount for such transactions.

In a tweet yesterday, BTC Markets confirmed that it didn't intend to bring POLi back, but noted that it wants to take advantage of the New Payments Platform. "We have no plans to reintroduce POLi however we are evaluating NPP," the tweet read.

The New Payments Platform is designed to make transfers of funds between different financial institutions faster and more secure and to encourage new payment platforms. For instance, CommBank, Westpac and NAB are partnering on an app called Beem that will allow payments from any Australian customer.

BTC Markets didn't indicate exactly how it planned to integrate with the NPP. Currently, the New Payments Platform only allows authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) to sign up directly, so BTC Markets would probably have to partner with another organisation in order to gain access. A partnership with a participating bank would potentially allow customers to make secure transfers directly from their Australian bank accounts.

All of the Big Four banks have signed up for the NPP, along with many smaller institutions. To date, local banks have been reluctant to support cryptocurrency trading, with many banning transfers of funds to cryptocurrency exchanges. The cryptocurrency market itself remains volatile, with massive drops in values for most currencies over the past day.

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