A happy new year and a message from our CEO - Axel Hunter
"It's been just over six months since we started our journey to bring a better business account to the 400,000 Norwegian SMBs. Our commitment and promise have been to build Norway's first truly customer-centric financial services provider. After graduating from TheFactory accelerator in November, the team at Astat has put an unbelievable amount of effort, which I can't thank enough for the time and energy they've poured in, along with our early investors, friends and family.
None of this would have been possible without the community of business owners that have shown us early support, who've given us feedback, supported us through everything and told their friends and families about Astat. Thank you.
Today marks the first step towards delivering better business banking to the community in 2021."
What is Astat?
Astat is a business account that takes the complications out of day-to-day business administration. We want to help our customers succeed at every step of the way, so we develop a foundation product suite to support them. A few features that will be available include the following:
- Tools for budgeting and forecast.
- Guidance around accounting and auditing.
- Alternative funding, such as loans and soft financing.
- Automatic bookkeeping and tax advice.
- Automated liquidity forecasting.
- Faster payments, FX exchange insights and local IBANS.
- Virtual cards.
- Apple pay & Google Pay.
How are we different from other business accounts?
Astat is digital-only; there are no branches. In a world where it is becoming increasingly regular to perform tasks online, we believe the traditional bricks and mortar approach to be a thing of the past. We also promise no unnecessary paperwork or long forms or application processes. Once a customer has been approved for our digital onboarding process, we will issue a virtual card, and Apple Pay/ Google Pay functionality immediately. For so long, it has been the norm for application processes to take weeks and even months, which we believe is unacceptable and often leads a new business owner to be put under unnecessary stress and pressure. We are also the first customer-centric business account in Norway; this means we are there for our customers and we develop and build our products around our customer needs and ongoing community feedback.
When can I try it?
Astat is only a few months away from issuing our card products to customers, and we have a soft deadline by the end of May 2021. We are currently testing our functionality with a small team of "Alpha" testers.
Are you regulated as a bank?
No, Astat believes that banks should do what banks do best, holding money. Astat works as a business accountt over existing banking infrastructure; all funds are secured by a banking licence held by our banking partner.
Over the next few days, weeks and months, we'll use this blog to introduce the team that's building the business account, and give you early access to some of the features that we are most excited about.