Podcast Review: Astropay CEO On the Global Expansion and Payment Localisation

AstroPay is an online payment service that enables people to make online purchases using their local payment methods and in their local currency. In order to do that the app uses over 200 payment methods. 

Speaking to SBC in a recent podcast, Astropay’s CEO Mikael Lijtenstein talked about AstroPay’s global expansion plans, product localization, and how they recently launched the AstroPay Visa debit card. 

“Last year, we increased the number of users we have all over the world. As you know, we are a digital wallet and we offer the service on a global scale. Over the last few months, we have increased the number of countries in which we are processing payments. We strengthened our position across Europe, having entered markets such as the UK, Spain, and Portugal.

“Also, we partnered with new payment methods – this has been one of our strongest points. It’s important to always give new opportunities and offer different methods for our users to load up their digital wallets. On top of that, we also secured a number of new agreements with merchants so we can, again, offer our users more options.”

The company also managed to partner with Premier League Wolves FC for the 2022/2023 season. AstroPay’s branding features on the front of Wolves men’s and women’s first team and under-23’s shirts. Lijtenstein pointed out that the partnership increases the visibility of the company in the wider European market. 

“Partnering with a Premier League team is very important for us – it enables AstroPay to be seen all over the world.”

AstroPay started in Latin America, then moved to Europe and Asia, and is also being tested in Africa. Lijtenstein emphasized the importance of localization, and the ways in which AstroPay is supporting merchants to offer localized payment methods when expanding into new markets.

“Consumers are used to paying with local payment methods, using their own currency. In Brazil, it’s the real, shillings in Kenya and rupees in India. So it’s incredibly important to offer our users a payment method that they are used to. 

“So we have been partnering with the most well-known local payment methods in those countries where we operate. That way, merchants don’t have to try to close separate agreements in every individual country. 

“We give them a chance to pay using a payment method where the user already knows what we do, they already have their wallet, and it’s a very well-known payment method all over the world. We have dedicated teams in each country that, every day, improve the solution and receive feedback from users to bring them the best solution that we can.” 

In 2022 AstroPay also launched its Visa debit card to expand the reach of the company’s user database while simultaneously providing its customers with more benefits. The card is issued instantly and for payments both online and in-store. Users can also check their balance at any time and use the remaining funds to make purchases at any merchant that accepts Visa as a payment method, without requiring intermediaries and simplifying the process.

“It is a great project – we have a dedicated team who are iterating and improving the offering each day, and also improving the crypto feature where users can buy and sell cryptocurrencies easily.” 

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