Astra, Visa to Support Faster Funding for New Accounts

Astra, a provider of instant card-to-card funding as a service in the US, recently announced it is using Visa Direct – which is Visa’s real-time payments service – “to provide fast payments to millions of its end-users who can fund cards, wallets, and other accounts with their eligible debit cards.”

Astra offers a payments platform that “allows developers to quickly and safely add transfer functionality to their existing applications in as little as a week of development time.”

Built for scale and leveraging automation, the Astra Platform is “integrated via API and allows builders to add payment functionality to their applications without the need for handling additional compliance, capital commitments, or operational costs.”

The onboarding experience for a new user of a neo-banking or marketplace application “is critical and only lasts a few moments.”

In many cases, funding a new bank account or wallet “includes waiting multiple days for an ACH transfer to clear before the associated debit card can be used.”

With Astra, consumers can “fund a new debit card in real-time, easily transferring funds from an existing debit card through Visa Direct.” This technology “enables fintech products to help consumers move their funds to the desired account in real-time3, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

Accelerating funds availability can “lead to a smoother consumer onboarding experience, and the ability to start monetizing card transactions faster.”

Gil Akos, CEO of Astra, said:

“Every consumer and business knows the value of time to money intimately. Every fintech product is faced with the challenge of providing faster account funding options for their users. Through our collaboration with Visa, we can provide fast payments for me-to-me and peer-to-peer transactions. An easy integration for advanced payments through Visa Direct via Astra’s API will enable a world of new innovations for banking, investing, and marketplace products.”

Yanilsa Gonzalez-Ore, SVP, North America Head of Visa Direct, remarked:

“In a world where consumers expect to move money quickly and conveniently, fintechs and neo-banks must enhance their payment options to meet these new demands. Visa Direct empowers Astra’s clients to deliver money in real-time, providing end-users with a fast option for moving funds between accounts.”

As noted in the update, Astra claims to be “a leading provider of advanced bank-to-bank transfer technology for financial institutions, fintech startups, and enterprises.”

With headquarters in San Francisco, the company was “founded in 2016 by co-founders Gil Akos and Sam Morgan.”

Astra’s proprietary, vertically integrated API “allows developers to easily embed financial automation within their existing products.”

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