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European FinTech Ecosphere – Introducing high-risk payment processor AstroPay

FCA-regulated AstroPay is a GlobalNetInt customer
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The AstroPay website (www.astropay.com) is operated by Larstal Limited, a company registered in the UK and regulated by the FCA as an e-Money Institution with the reference number 900901. Besides, AP Global Corporation LLC, UK, and Galactic Mark Limited, HK, are also listed as operators on the website. According to Companies House, the beneficial owners of AstroPay are Uruguayan nationals Andrés Bzurovski Bay and Sergio Enrique Fogel Kaplan. AstroPay Cards, sold through resellers such as MorPay or Paywards, have become very popular as a means of payment among high-risk merchants and scammers. This report is part of our European FinTech Ecosphere series.

AstroPay offers its wallet-based instant payment method based on an app available for Apple and Android. A wide variety of payment service providers (PSPs) can be integrated via the app. Additionally, AstroPay sells prepaid cards (gift cards) that can be distributed through resellers and redeemed at participating merchants. The company focuses on South American markets and announced its entry into the Brazilian market in December 2020.

A wide range of FX brokers, gambling, betting, and casino ventures accept AstroPay, which is also one of the scammers’ favorite means of payment. Unfortunately, many scam brokers also use Astropay as a payment processor or the AstroPay Card. A list of FX brokers that accept the AstroPay Card can be found, for example, here on TheForexReview.

The AstroPay Card is sold for example by MorPay, owned by Indian national Prathima Mortha, or Paywards. The latter also sells prepaid cards from Jeton (La Orange) and CASHlib (issued by EMP CORP and Syspay).

All three AstroPay, MorPay, and Paywards are customers of the Lithuanian GlobalNetInt (GNI) and other prepaid card issuers and resellers – La Orange, Kasbee (d/b/a Cashu), or Directa24. GNI is certainly one of the big payment processors in the gift card and online voucher space.

On Trustpilot, Astropay gets a “Poor” trust level with a 2.4-star rating out of 74 reviews. There has been an increase in fake-suspicious 5-star ratings in recent days, without which the rating would be even worse.

CategoriesEMI Fintech

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