United Wholesale Mortgage (UWMC) is working on allowing customers to make their monthly mortgage payments using crypto, poised to join entities as varied as Square, AMC and the Dallas Mavericks.
UWM CEO Mat Ishbia told Yahoo Finance Live it's a matter of staying innovative, and following customer trends.
"We're doing a lot of things on the tech side that people don't understand because they think mortgage is old and sleepy," he said. "Everyone likes to do things the way they've always done it. We think about what's the best way. "Almost a million consumers pay UWM every single month. We have a lot of consumers that have a lot of crypto. They'd like to be able to transfer it in — how do we do that?"
Ishbia floated the idea on the company's recent earnings conference call, telling analysts that UWM is aiming to introduce the ability for customers to pay with crypto in the third quarter.
"Adoption" is a buzzword frequently cited by crypto bulls as a key to helping prices push higher, a sort of virtuous circle in which more companies accept bitcoin as payment, which boosts prices and ownership and convinces other companies to join in. Adoption can also refer to financial institutions pushing into crypto investing.
Companies doing business in crypto or holding it on balance sheets have faced challenges. Square in early August said it had taken a $65 million impairment charge related to the drop in value of its bitcoin holdings. Price volatility is one reason why other companies have avoided it, and Ishbia said he doesn't plan to hold onto the crypto that UWM may collect.
"We're not looking to be an investor in crypto. What we're looking to do is provide access to our clients, and so we'll convert it to cash and figure out how to do that in the most appropriate way at the time," he said.
Bitcoin prices have rebounded over the past month, holding above $45,000, what some analysts see as a key technical level. That's still a far cry from its highs of over $60,000 in April.
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