The extent to which digital currency has grown is significant in recent years. It is something many people are using between each other as well as investing, and some businesses are already accepting forms of cryptocurrency for payment.
Now one bank in local operation plans to offer digital currency as part of their employees’ savings plan.
Laredo’s Vantage Bank is planning to offer a new way for their employees to have a savings plan with the company, as they plan to step away from traditional savings plans — if the employee wishes to do so — in exchange for a digital currency savings plan. The new savings plans work with the most well-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
“The idea for the Bitcoin Savings Plan was something presented to us by one of our partners,” Vantage Bank Chief Human Resources Officer Eric Thompson, EVP said. “It is a program they launched and asked if we would be interested in participating.”
The new program, NYDIG's Bitcoin Savings Plan, is a simple and secure way for people to invest in Bitcoin.
According to Thompson, the Bitcoin Savings Plan lets employees automatically convert a portion of each paycheck to Bitcoin. The Bitcoin is then held on NYDIG's institutional-grade custody platform, which meets the highest security and regulatory standards.
The implementation of the employee program makes the bank one of the first, if not the first bank in the state of Texas, to have such a savings plan program for employees. In a time when many people are looking for the best employer with top benefits, the human resources officer thinks this is a good way to go.
“We are excited to be part of a number of organizations across the country offering this program,” Thompson said. “During this ‘Great Resignation,' attracting and retaining top talent has been especially challenging. Focusing on our employees and the benefits we offer help make Vantage Bank Texas an employer of choice for current and potential employees.”
The CEO of the company has also praised the new program for expanding on its benefits which helps retain local talent as well.
“Part of offering our team members the most comprehensive benefits package possible is making sure we evolve with new financial technologies,” said Jeff Sinnott, president and CEO of Vantage Bank Texas. “As part of that, we are also providing associates with education about Bitcoin, sharing the risks and considerations that should be evaluated before directing their post-tax dollars to a Bitcoin Savings Plan.”
According to the bank, the implementation of the new savings program reinforces the financial evolution of cryptocurrency and how employers are adapting to offer competitive benefits packages for employees.
Thompson says that although the new savings plan will be offered, the bank continues to offer the traditional saving plans they have always done throughout the years.
“The Bitcoin Savings Plan is just one of the many savings programs we provide our employees,” Thompson said. “All employees have the opportunity to participate in a 401K plan where the bank matches a portion of their contribution as well as an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.”
Vantage Bank Chief Business Architect - Shared Services Shawn Main, EVP says the bank does not currently allow customers to directly buy, sell or trade cryptocurrency. However, the company executive does say they will offer educational tools for their employees to understand the new technology better.
“Vantage Bank Texas is focused on educating our employees, researching the technology and learning how the blockchain will best support our customers and their financial needs,” Shawn said. “We are also actively engaged with the Texas Blockchain Council to better understand the technology and its future potential within our monetary system. Our partnership with NYDIG is just one example of how we are working to educate our employees on this transformative technology.”
The bank does say this technology is mostly popular among younger people as well.
Data by the bank shows that the NYDIG’s 2022 survey showed more than one-third of workers between the ages of 18-29 are interested in earning some of their salary in Bitcoin. This was echoed in Vantage Bank’s experience, as more employees were requesting the Bitcoin Savings Plan option.
Shawn says when it comes to the employees choosing whether to invest in digital currency or simply investing regularly for their savings plans they should “consult with their personal financial planners to determine which option is best for them."
Also, just like any other savings plan, Thompson says employees can withdraw funds at any time just as they would with any savings account already in existence.
Vantage Bank Texas has two locations in Laredo. One is located at 7219 McPherson Rd. and the other is located at 4819 San Dario Ave.