FinTech Startup Astra Joins Visa’s Fast Track Program

Home » FinTech » FinTech News » FinTech Startup Astra Joins Visa’s Fast Track Program

FinTech Startup Astra Joins Visa’s Fast Track Program

For FinTech startups, speed is the name of the game. As we’ve seen time and time again, it’s important for these firms to acquire customers as quickly as possible, with venture capital often helping fuel their race against the clock. That’s where the Visa Fast Track program comes in, making it easier for apps and tools to utilize the company’s infrastructure. The latest FinTech to come aboard the Visa Fast Track ship is none other than Astra.

Astra helps users build up their savings via automated transfers. This includes the ability to set various “routines” in order to reach savings goals. For example users can elect to have Astra monitor their spending account, round up purchases to the nearest dollar, and transfer the rest. Other options include participating in a 52-week savings challenge, sweeping funds when an account tops a specific balance, performing scheduled transfers, and more.

Previously Astra’s transfers had utilized Automated Clearing House (ACH) bank transfers. However, according to a press release, the addition of a VisaNet option will allow for quicker settlement times. Moreover the company teases the ability for even more routine types that Astra can offer. Incidentally Astra currently connects user accounts via Plaid — a service that Visa recently acquired for $5.3 billion.

Reflecting on how joining Visa Fast Track helps his company, Astra co-founder and CEO Gil Akos said in a statement, “Our mission is to increase the efficiency of your finances, by mapping the graph of your accounts and automating the movement of funds through it. Collaborating with Visa means we have a step function increase in the types of accounts that may send or receive funds through our platform as well as the speed at which we can transfer those funds for you.” Akos concluded, “We are excited by the magnitude of how this will empower our users.” Meanwhile Visa SVP and Global Head of Fintech Terry Angelos noted, “By joining Visa’s Fast Track program, exciting Fintechs like Astra gain unprecedented access to Visa experts, technology, and resources. Fast Track lets us provide new resources that rapidly growing companies need to scale with efficiency.”

If you’ll recall, Visa Fast Track made its U.S. debut last fall. Prior to that the program had launched in other regions around the world, including Europe, Africa,  Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East. In order to bring Fast Track stateside, Visa partnered with  Green Dot, Stripe, Alloy, and Q2. Additionally Andreessen Horowitz, Trinity Ventures, and others agreed to bring some of the companies in their portfolios to Fast Track.

It’s no surprise that startups like Astra are finding Visa’s Fast Track program appealing. What’s more this particular partnership may hint at how Visa can leverage their purchase of Plaid to expand their relationship with FinTechs that are already utilizing that platform. As for Astra, it will be interesting to see what new features they’re able to offer in the months ahead.


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

Other Articles by Jonathan Dyer

Unique Upcoming X1 Card Opens Waitlist

In recent months, the credit card industry has been throwing out some mixed signals. While reports suggest that some issuers have been slashing limits and even closing accounts, others have been plussing their products or introducing new ones (such as the recent Chase Freedom Flex card announcements). Now comes word...

SBA's 504 Loan Program Sees Record Lending Month

At a time when thousands of small businesses across the country are struggling to stay afloat, it seems that some entrepreneurs are investing in future projects. As the National Association of Development Companies notes, the Small Business Administration completed a record number of loans under its 504 loan programs in...

20 of the Top FinTech Deals of 2020 (So Far)

In the face of a global pandemic, the FinTech industry continues to thrive. From investment app and mobile wallets to insurtech and digital business tools, companies of all kinds have seen significant growth in 2020, fueled by some impressive investments. With that in mind, today we highlight 20 of the...