Astra taps Visa to enable faster funding for new accounts


Astra, a leading provider of instant card-to-card financing as a service in the United States1, today announced that it uses Visa Direct2 – Visa’s real-time payment service3 – to provide payments fast to millions of its end users who can fund cards, wallets and other accounts with their eligible debit cards.

“In a world where consumers expect to move money quickly and easily, fintechs and neo-banks need to improve their payment options to meet these new demands”

Astra offers a payment platform that allows developers to quickly and securely add transfer functionality to their existing apps in as little as one week of development time. Designed to scale and take advantage of automation, the Astra platform is integrated via an API and allows manufacturers to add payment functionality to their applications without the need to manage additional compliance, capital commitments or operational costs.

The onboarding experience of a new user of a neo-banking application or marketplace is critical and only lasts a few moments. In many cases, funding a new bank account or wallet involves waiting several days for an ACH transfer to complete 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 via Visa Direct. This technology enables fintech products to help consumers transfer their funds to their desired account in real time3, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Accelerating funds availability can lead to a smoother onboarding experience for consumers and the ability to start monetizing card transactions sooner.

“Every consumer and every business knows intimately the value of value for money. Every fintech product faces the challenge of providing faster account funding options to its users,” said Gil Akos, CEO of Astra. “Through our collaboration with Visa, we can provide fast payments for me-to-me and peer-to-peer transactions. Easy integration for advanced payments via Visa Direct via Astra’s API will enable a world of new innovation for banking, investment and market products.

“In a world where consumers expect to transfer money quickly and easily, fintechs and neo-banks need to improve their payment options to meet these new demands,” said Yanilsa Gonzalez-Ore, SVP, North America Head of Visa Direct. “Visa Direct enables Astra customers to deliver money in real time3, giving end users a fast option to transfer funds between accounts.”

1 Users can effortlessly execute an instant card-to-card transfer just like they would with an ACH transfer
2 Visa Direct capability activated by Astra partner financial institution
3 Actual availability of funds depends on receiving financial institution and region


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