AstroPay is an online prepaid card service that works just like a regular credit/debit card, but one that can be preloaded with cash to suit your payment requirements. Unlike the conventional virtual cards that are available in the market, AstroPay attempts to bring the convenience of online funds transfers to the lesser-known markets in the world, where banking options and online funding methods are quite limited. As a result, the company is attempting to target a niche market, where users can enjoy a safe and secure payment option for their online sports betting needs.
India is one of the primary markets where AstroPay offers its services to facilitate sports betting-related fund transfers. Of course, there are many legal hurdles that prevent the company from offering its entire suite of services to Indian punters, as both virtual prepaid cards and sports betting are banned in India. Regardless, there are a few workarounds that indeed makes it possible for Indian punters to choose the AstroPay card option for sports betting in India, and we will evaluate the options in detail through our extended AstroPay review.
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Availability of AstroPay in India
The virtual prepaid card is only available in a select few countries, as the company does not offer its services to the residents of major economies such as the US, the UK, and Australia. The company provides an exhaustive list of accepted countries on its official website, which is represented in a map form. It is quite evident that the virtual card covers entire Southern America, Russia, the Nordic regions, the Middle East, Central & East Asia, some parts of Africa, and mainland Europe.
Despite being highly restrictive in its choice of markets, the virtual card service has proved to be a mainstay in almost all the leading sports betting websites in the industry, which allows users from developing nations such as India to perform a deposit at their favourite bookmaker without any major hassles. India is certainly shown as an accepted region on the map, and we were also able to sign up for an AstroPay card from an IP address in India. Therefore, we can indeed verify that Indian bettors can purchase a virtual card from the AstroPay India website.
AstroPay Company Information & Regulation
The payment service provider has two offices for its operational purposes, with its headquarters located in the UK, alongside a branch office located in Malta. The UK division is registered in England and Wales under the name AP Global Corporation LLP, while its Maltese operations are carried out under the Emerge Global Limited brand name. AstroPay’s Maltese licenses are issued by the Malta Financial Services Authority; however, we were unable to find or verify the regulatory licenses for the company’s UK operations.
Malta is a member of the European Union, which allows all companies registered under the Maltese Financial Services Authority to operate in the entire EU with a European Economic Area (EEA) passport. Therefore, Astro Pay is also authorized to issue its virtual prepaid card to customers from Europe under the existing EU framework, including the ability to issue electronic money for international cross-border transfers.
Registering for a Virtual Card
Users can sign up for a virtual prepaid card by registering for an account at the official AstroPayCard website. You have to enter your personal information such as full name, email address, and country of residence to complete the initial signup process, along with choosing a password for dashboard access. Once you have completed the initial step of the registration, you will be sent a verification email to your email address. Click on the ‘complete registration’ link to enter the remaining details such as your date of birth, address, identifying document number, and a contact number. Once verified, you will be taken straight to your account dashboard, where you can proceed to purchase a card of varying denominations.
Purchasing a Card & Its Associated Fees
AstroPay offers the convenience of purchasing their prepaid card in several different local currencies, especially in a bid to help local companies to expand their presence to remote or developing regions. Cards are available in varying denominations of $10, $25, $50, $100, $500, and $1000. Furthermore, the company supports USD equivalent currency denominations in INR, EUR, USD, GBP, BRL, RMB, JPY, TRY, INR, THB, ARS, and other local currencies, which are designed to provide you with the most convenient funding option that is relevant to your requirements. As far as depositing money into the AstroPayCard is concerned, Indian users can fund their cards using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum and Litecoin, or through an e-wallet transfer using popular e-wallets such as NETELLER.
Users from other countries have the option to purchase a prepaid card through their credit/debit cards, bank transfer, or through accepted local payments, which are specific to their country of residence. Alternatively, you can also purchase or recharge your card through authorized resellers, the details of which will be provided in your AstroPay dashboard. You are free to hold any number of prepaid cards without incurring any additional costs, but there are fees for purchasing a loaded AstroPayCard. The standard fee is 3%, which means that a $10 card will cost you $10.30. The fee remains the same for all denominations, with the maximum fee being $30 for a $1000 AstroPayCard.
Using AstroPay at an Online Bookmaker
Most online bookies accept prepaid virtual cards for funding an account, and AstroPay is no exception. You should be able to spot AstroPay as a default option at most of our recommended online bookmakers, or if you are unable to find such an option, you can choose the prepaid card payment option and enter your AstroPayCard information for instant payment. The bookmaker may deduct incidental card charges for virtual card payments, but we have seen that most companies refund the entire amount to their customers as a goodwill gesture, which should ensure that you can wager the entire amount that you deposit into your sportsbook account.
AstroPayCard employs the same encryption and security protocols that are employed by conventional chip-based cards, which include a 16-digit card number, a CVV code, and a 4-digit security PIN. Hence, your financial information is highly secure, and you needn’t worry about theft or information phishing. You can also enjoy an additional security cover by using an AstroPayCard, as you are not divulging your card details, banking information, or even your cryptocurrency information to any unknown third parties.
Can You Withdraw Using AstroPay?
One of the primary drawbacks of an AstroPayCard is that you can’t withdraw funds from your bookmaker account to your virtual card or use it to withdraw funds through an ATM. Virtual prepaid cards are banned in India and are not usually accepted by any local merchants. Therefore, even if you deposit funds into your sports betting account through AstroPay, you will be forced to choose any other withdrawal method such as a bank wire or an e-wallet transfer. Therefore, you must always have the option of a backup payment option, especially if you are looking at indulging in sports betting for the long haul.
AstroPay Mobile Apps
AstroPay is available for download from both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, with complete support and compatibility for iOS and Android devices. The mobile apps do seem to have additional functionalities over its desktop interface, as there is an option to transfer funds to another account, send cards to your contacts, or consolidate the amounts available in different cards in your account into a single virtual card. Therefore, we certainly recommend the AstroPay app if you plan on using the service for all future payments, as it can provide you with unmatched flexibility and convenience, along with a secure platform for making online payments.
AstroPay Review Conclusion
AstroPay is an outstanding choice of virtual prepaid card if you are searching for one of the most secure, instant, and cost-effective payment options for online sports betting in India. The company has partnered up with a majority of leading online bookies in the market so that you can find your favourite bookmaker that suits your preferences. Together with secure encryption technology and a stellar track record, AstroPay is undoubtedly at the top of our recommendations for online funding.