The community-oriented, relationship bank makes history by being the first traditional bank to integrate Web3 strategies and offer digital membership and NFT perks to members.

By Fernanda De La Torre

This week UBank, the community-oriented relationship bank joined Upstream and made history as the first traditional bank to integrate a Web3 community-building strategy for members to trade digital collectibles (NFTs) and redeem them for unique perks and experiences. UBank plans to begin its foray into NFTs with a limited release for VIP clients, followed by larger initiatives that will be available to all UBank customers.

UBank’s emphasis on relationship banking enriches the customer experience and works to create the future of community banking. Since the company’s founding in 1961, UBank has provided customers with a refreshingly human experience, which is often lacking in the banking industry. As part of UBank’s heart-first approach to banking, UBank team members volunteer monthly through UBank’s ‘Go Group’ service initiative. In addition, UBank hosts the annual “Good For Country” concert series in Lufkin, Texas, which benefits the East Texas Food Bank. Through the Upstream partnership, UBank continues to extend its community-building mission into the Web3 space.

“Serving our community in creative ways is at the core of who we are and what we stand for,” says UBank CEO Shana De Paoli. “Integrating blockchain technology opportunities for our members enables us to facilitate unique customer interactions and digital perk redemptions like tickets to our “Good for Country” concert and other experiences powered by Upstream’s simplified, regulated, and eco-friendly platform.”

Why it’s historic

Ubank is the first traditional bank to enter Web3 in this way, integrating NFTs for members to receive rewards, digital merchandise, and other experiences.

Ubank will be applying Web3 strategies to support their giving back initiatives by offering ticket NFTs to their events such as the “Good for Country” music festival, which aims to raise money for the East Texas Food Bank (ETFB).

Up until now, major brands have been slow to adopt NFTs into their fan engagement strategies due to regulatory uncertainty, accessibility, and user-friendliness.

Upstream addresses the hurdles above while acting as a secure entry point to Web3, protecting brands and their fans

  1. Upstream addresses regulatory uncertainty– As the first regulated exchange to offer NFTs and digital securities, Upstream takes a proactive approach by integrating relevant investor protection measures found in regulated securities markets including Know Your Customer “KYC” and Anti-Money Laundering “AML” compliance checks to prevent market manipulation. Additionally, as a MERJ Exchange Market, Upstream benefits from MERJ being an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) adhering to the highest levels of investor protection.
  2. Upstream makes NFTs accessible– With no upfront fees and no gas fees charged to users, Upstream makes NFTs accessible so millions of fans can enjoy content from their favorite athletes, musicians, and entertainers through unique free, low-cost, and premium NFTs.
  3. Upstream makes NFTs user-friendly– Being a layer-2 Ethereum exchange, Upstream provides a simplified user journey with in-app wallet creation and familiar payment methods which include cash, credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, and USDC stablecoin.


Upstream and UBank are pioneering Web3 integrations for the banking industry, paving the way for other businesses to follow suit. UBank joins Upstream’s growing community of entertainment, sports, and music heavyweights including NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, NBA All-Star Penny Hardaway, NFL Hall of Famer Edgerrin James, Antrel Rolle, Beatclub/Timbaland, BRON Studios, Ruffnation Entertainment, and more.

Parties interested in integrating Web 3.0 digital collectibles and memberships (NFTs) into their brands can learn more at or reach the team at

About UBank:

UBank is a community-oriented, relationship bank that is building the future of relationship banking. We believe that people bank with people, not a bank. That’s why we’re focused on creating an innovative banking experience that values, knows, and empowers its customers to live their ambitions and forge their dreams today. Since our founding in 1961, we’ve built a strong product set, successfully navigated the ever-changing regulatory environment, and established a strong team of people who share our vision. We’re here to make it happen for you, for your family, and for your business. It’s that simple.

Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

About Upstream:

Upstream, a MERJ Exchange Market (, is a fully regulated global stock exchange for digital securities. Powered by Horizon’s proprietary matching engine technology, the exchange will enable investors to trade NFTs, shares in IPOs, crowdfunded companies, U.S. & Int’l. equities, and celebrity ventures directly from the app: Interested issuers can reach the team at

About MERJ:

MERJ Exchange (MERJ) operates Upstream as a fully regulated and licensed integrated securities exchange, clearing system and depository for digital and non-digital securities. MERJ is an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), recognized by HM Revenue and Customs UK, a full member of the Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA) and a Qualifying Foreign Exchange for OTC Markets in the US. MERJ is also a member of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative. Visit to learn more.

About Horizon:

Horizon is a fintech company that builds and powers global securities exchanges with an integrated suite of software for compliant issuance, management, and secondary trading of securities. Our in-house solutions combine Wall Street and Silicon Valley to power the next generation of securities offerings and trading in the U.S. and globally. Learn more at


This communication shall not constitute an offer to sell securities or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities in any jurisdiction where such offer or solicitation is not permitted.

NFTs received have no economic value, royalties, equity ownership, or dividends. NFTs are for utility, collection, and display only.

*U.S. investors are not permitted to purchase Upstream listed securities. U.S. and Canadian citizens will only be able to trade in securities they currently own, that have been listed on Upstream, for liquidation purposes only.

If funding Upstream with an ACH or wire bank payment, users must complete Upstream’s in-app KYC process to get their new, FDIC insured, Upstream U.S. bank account details via email. Users may then initiate a funds-transfer from their bank or financial institution to this new U.S. Dollar bank account. If you haven’t completed KYC yet, or didn’t select ‘Bank’ as the ‘Deposit From’ option when you completed the process initially, then please go through KYC again selecting the ‘Bank’ payment method. Users may complete the simple KYC process by tapping the settings icon and the KYC option inside the Upstream app.

Upstream is a MERJ Exchange market. MERJ Exchange is a licensed Securities Exchange, an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges, and a full member of ANNA. MERJ supports global issuers of traditional and digital securities through the entire asset life cycle from issuance to trading, clearing, settlement, and registry. It operates a fair and transparent marketplace in line with international best practices and principles of operations of financial markets. Upstream does not endorse or recommend any public or private securities bought or sold on its app. Upstream does not offer investment advice or recommendations of any kind. All services offered by Upstream are intended for self-directed clients who make their own investment decisions without aid or assistance from Upstream. All customers are subject to the rules and regulations of their jurisdiction. By accessing the site or app, you agreed to be bound by its terms of use and privacy policy. Company and security listings on Upstream are only suitable for investors who are familiar with and willing to accept the high risk associated with speculative investments, often in early and development stage companies. There can be no assurance the valuation of any particular company’s securities is accurate or in agreement with the market or industry comparative valuations. Investors must be able to afford market volatility and afford the loss of their investment. Companies listed on Upstream are subject to significant ongoing corporate obligations including, but not limited to disclosure, filings, and notification requirements, as well as compliance with applicable quantitative and qualitative listing standards.

Forward-Looking Statements

This communication contains “forward-looking statements.” Such statements may be preceded by the words “intends,” “may,” “will,” “plans,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “predicts,” “estimates,” “aims,” “believes,” “hopes,” “potential,” or similar words. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, are based on certain assumptions, and are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s control, and cannot be predicted or quantified, and, consequently, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks and uncertainties associated with (i) difficulties in obtaining financing on commercially reasonable terms; (ii) changes in the size and nature of our competition; (iii) loss of one or more key executives or brand ambassadors; and (iv) changes in legal or regulatory requirements in the markets in which we operate. The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise

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