Press Release

Astra’s Innovative Instant Disbursement Solution Powered by Cross River and Visa Direct Rapidly Surpasses $100MM of Annualized Gross Payment Volume

Cross River

February 23, 2023

3 min read

February 23, 2023

Astra’s Innovative Instant Disbursement Solution Powered by Cross River and Visa Direct Rapidly Surpasses $100MM of Annualized Gross Payment Volume

Since May 2022, fintech developers have leveraged the Astra platform to annually process over 650,000 real-time transfers with debit cards for all kinds of use cases

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. - Astra (Astra, Inc.), the automation platform for money movement, today announced the success of its Instant Payment solution leveraging the Visa Direct network. Through a strategic partnership with Cross River Bank (“Cross River”), a technology infrastructure provider that offers embedded financial solutions, Astra provides first-of-its-kind infrastructure that enables fintech developers to process disbursements and payouts via debit card payment rails. On an annual basis, the partnership is already successfully processing more than $100 million of annualized gross payment volume (GPV) and 650,000 real-time transfers and has plans to explore other collaborative solutions.

“With the expansion of Astra’s instant payment APIs, fintech developers can easily embed push-to-card transfers into their own applications without the need to handle complicated settlement mechanics. Essentially, allowing disbursements to settle in real-time, directly to the balance of the destination card,” said Gil Akos, CEO of Astra. “Our customers continue to seek more instant payments capabilities so that they can offer a best-in-class product experience to their users. By adding new, flexible solutions through Visa Direct and our partnership with Cross River, developers can achieve more of their product goals through our scalable infrastructure.”

Traditionally, fintech developers must choose a payment gateway to match the specific payment type (“payment rail”), which leads to multiple vendor integrations and added operational complexity. With this new category of solutions developed by Astra, a payment can originate from any depository account and land directly as a credit on a debit card, increasing the efficiency and speed of transfers for both senders and receivers.

“We are constantly trying to expand the menu of payment options available to developers, and our partners at Cross River continue to be open and receptive to innovative solutions. Together we are bringing this new payment type to market, powered by Visa Direct, enabling yet another set of customers to utilize Astra’s API and our full-stack payments,” said Sam Morgan, COO of Astra.

Cross River merges the innovative offerings of a technology company with the established expertise of a bank. Its API driven technology and proprietary banking core provide a comprehensive one-stop-shop platform. The New Jersey state-chartered FDIC-insured financial institution is well-known for collaborating with partners to deliver innovative embedded financial solutions. The two companies have been partnered since Astra launched a point-to-point debit API, which increased the speed of transfers and the accessibility of the debit card system for developers across the United States.

“We’re always looking for new ways to creatively collaborate with our partners to develop innovative solutions that solve ineffectual pain points,” said Keith Vander Leest, Head of Payments at Cross River. “We’re proud of our success with Astra, offering fintech developers streamlined and expanded embedded payment optionality that provides true scalability.” 


About Astra

Astra is 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. For more information, visit