USAA, one of the 25 largest financial-services companies in the U.S., has over 11 million clients, or members, and you must have a military-family connection in order to join. This means its members, many of whom are stationed overseas, have a keen interest in the security of both their financial holdings and that of the U.S. military.
And they are trendsetters.
As of this week, the bank’s online system is now capable of showing Coinbase account information to members online. Soon, this access will be available via the USAA mobile app. USAA’s embrace of cybercurrency information is a first for a U.S. bank.
And this seems to be good news for the 11,000-plus USAA members and staff who have accounts with Coinbase, where bitcoin can be bought, sold, received and stored. It follows a pilot program started late last year at the bank, which has about $222 billion in assets (including managed money).
“It’s pretty neat to see my bitcoin balance immediately when I log on,” said Coinbase member Carl Mehner, a senior information security analyst at USAA, in a report about the program on the bank’s website.
According to USAA, each bitcoin currently is worth over $400, down from a high of $1,242 in 2013.