Building on the concept of transferring money directly from a bank account to a debit card, Astra Inc., a provider of bank-to-bank transfer technology, has introduced an application programming interface that enables users to transfer money from one debit card to another. using debit card networks.
The API, which Astra Launched Thursday in partnership with financial services technology provider Cross River Bank, will allow software developers to process transfers without the need for settlement accounts or developing reconciliation transactions. Astra claims the API is PCI compliant by default, which gives developers limited liability for sensitive card data. PCI is a benchmark for the data security standard of the payment card industry.
The ability to transfer funds between debit cards differs from a bank account-to-card transfer in that the card-to-card transfer occurs instantly. In addition, a card account or account-to-account transaction occurs on alternative payment networks, such as the automated clearinghouse, which can make the transfer slower and riskier, according to Astra CEO Gil Akos.
âDeposit accounts and debit cards are very different (but intertwined) payment instruments, and fintech developers are looking for more diverse and functionalized payment options to meet the needs of their products,â Akos said by E-mail. âOur mission is to facilitate the movement of cash between accounts, and wire transfers are a big step towards this universal solution. “
From Cross River’s perspective, the API creates a point of differentiation for fintechs like Astra by allowing them to offer their customers a way to transfer money using debit card payment networks, as opposed to the automated clearinghouse, which is typically used to facilitate account-to-account transfers.
Launched in 2008, Cross River provides a secure API-based banking platform, as well as a suite of products enabling lending, payments, risk management and banking as a service. Astra’s proprietary API allows developers to integrate financial automation into their existing products.
âAstra chose to partner with Cross River to develop this innovative solution, and with our new product, we can leverage Cross River’s experience and combine it with our risk mitigation and automation work to to make rapid transfers over the throughput network more streamlined and efficient than ever before, âsaid Sam Morgan, chief operating officer at Astra, in a prepared statement.