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Rivals Signature Bank and Prime Trust Team up to Offer Instant Payments for Institutions

Crypto banking competitors Prime Trust and Signature Bank have partnered in a bid to appeal to institutional clients.

Signature announced Monday it would be linking its Signet payments platform to Prime Trust's multi-asset settlement platform, creating a new service offering "real-time" settlements for digital asset trades.

"Any Signature Bank commercial client participating on the Signet platform has the ability to make instantaneous payments in U.S. dollars, any time without transaction fees," said Joseph DePaolo, Signature Bank president and CEO in a press release. “The relationship we have forged with Prime Trust will allow their clients to immediately settle their transactions through the revolutionary Signet platform."

The service will allow institutional clients from both companies to make payments directly to one another at any time, without third parties or transaction fees.

The Signet system launched in December 2018 after winning approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). It opened to Signature's commercial clients, who need a minimum account balance of $250,000, on Jan. 1, 2019. By February, the bank already claimed to have on-boarded more than 100 clients who were sending each other millions of dollars in crypto transactions daily.

State-licensed trust company Prime Trust launched its settlement network back in July as an alternative to Signature. Having generally attracted an exchange clientele, including Bittrex and Huobi, it is the only publicly known financial services provider for Binance.US, Binance's American partner company.

The list of banks willing to work with cryptocurrency companies remains short over compliance and risk concerns. Hence, market share is mostly concentrated in a handful of specialized providers at which competition is heating up.

Cryptocurrency exchange CEX.io, which had previously used Signature Bank, moved over to Silvergate back in November. Steve Gregory, CEX.io's chief compliance officer and corporate counsel, told CoinDesk at the time that this was, in part, because Signature could not process retail transactions and automatically batched payments under $50,000 together.

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