Astat, a new Norwegian neobank, chooses Enfuce to provide virtual cards integrated in the challenger bank’s full-featured digital product suite for local SMEs.
Well over 90% of all companies in Norway are small & medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with <50 employees, yet this segment is often overlooked by established banks. According to research by the Norwegian consultancy Itera, as much as half (49%) of SME banking customers do not get their support or advice requests followed up by their bank. What is more, the onboarding can take weeks, with high barriers in place even for something as simple as starting an SME bank account. Change is clearly needed.
It is difficult for the smaller firms to access quality business banking services with an excellent customer experience (from onboarding to day-to-day operations), simple pricing model, value-added features such as budgeting, accounting, and tax reporting tools – all with 100% transparency. Seeing a clear need for such a solution, Astat has been working to build a comprehensive digital banking product suite for Norwegian SMEs since the autumn of 2020. A team of 7 hard working professionals with tech, finance & legal backgrounds are rallying behind the mission, building Norway’s next leading neobank to be launched in 2021.
As a value-adding part of their digital banking offering, Astat finds it crucial to provide flexible virtual cards to small & medium-sized companies to make business expense management as smooth as possible. The challenger bank chose to partner with the leading Nordic payment services provider Enfuce for launching their card programme. Enfuce will deliver Astat a fully turnkey card issuing service, including key enablers such as BIN sponsorship and card scheme integration as well as fraud prevention and dispute management. With the Enfuce service, Astat will be able to ramp up their card business fast and start issuing tokenized, fully virtual business cards with a smooth and secure customer experience. Designed for SMEs, the Astat cards will be configurable by the business customer, supporting instant topup and latest digital payments features such as Apple Pay & Google Pay.
Initially they will be implemented for the Norwegian currency (NOK) with the option for easy expansion to multiple geographies and currencies. While Astat is currently focusing on growth within Norway, they ultimately plan to become the number one SME banking provider in the Nordics.
“Astat is excited to collaborate with Enfuce on the launch of our prepaid business card. It is crucial for us that our partners understand and share the key values behind this product – making operational processes of a business as simple as possible. With easy-to-use virtual corporate cards, we at Astat want to enable SME owners to concentrate on their most important priorities, not paperwork. Repetitive, mindless tasks should not be eating up precious business hours. If all the operational processes for SMEs are simplified, the business owners and employees can spend all their work time on value-adding tasks and maintain healthy work-life balance without unnecessary overtime,” comments Axel Hunter, CEO at Astat.
“Astat and Enfuce are a natural fit – we are both ambitious Nordic fintechs with strong values and a great team driving our mission forward. We are excited to develop a world-class solution together to serve Norwegian SMEs in the best way possible. And once Astat is ready to expand beyond their home market, Enfuce will be there to support them, as well. We don’t just provide the solution, but grow together with our customer,” says Monika Liikamaa, CEO & Co-founder at Enfuce.
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Astat is Norway’s first truly customer-centric bank challenger. Astat has been established after a trend in the Norwegian banking market where smaller businesses and startups feel underserved by the traditional banks. Astat believes that everyday banking should be easy, seamless and integrate with our daily lives. Astat aims to give small business owners access to better familiar and automated financial tools to increase their business’s effectiveness, have time to concentrate more on what they do best and less on financial administration.
Enfuce offers payment, open banking and sustainability services to banks, fintechs, financial operators, and merchants. By combining industry expertise, innovative technology, and compliance, they are delivering long-term and scalable solutions quickly and securely.Established in 2016, Enfuce currently employs 70 driven professionals in the Nordics and has close to 10 million end users on their platform. Reach out to learn more about Enfuce’s services. www.enfuce.com/contact/