Asto Digital closes down following Santander move


Valentina Vitali
Valentina Vitali
FXC Intelligence Research Analyst
Valentina is a Research Analyst at FXC Intelligence, the data sister company of FXcompared. Valentina is passionate about payments and fintech. Valentin enjoys analysing money transfer companies and… Read more
  • Asto Digital, which allows small businesses to manage their payments and invoices, will be closed down over the course of 2021 due to a funding decision by owner Santander.
  • It is believed that Asto did not manage to secure the amount of growth expected of it – even though it had arranged deals with household names such as eBay.
  • 65 people work at Asto and they will now be made redundant – though there is some scope for staff to be moved across into other parts of Santander’s operations.

A small British company operating in the invoice and expense management arena is set to close down after its parent company announced the end of funding.

Asto Digital, which facilitates online money transfers for companies requiring clients to settle bills, had been funded by Santander during an early part of its growth stage.

However, it has now been revealed that the international financial services giant will no longer be paying for Asto, and the firm – which also provides near-term loans to companies – will have to close.

Asto employs 65 people, and it is due to close by the end of 2021.

Staff at the company were made aware of the decision on Thursday of last week.

The news was delivered via a video call with Asto’s chief executive officer Nicolette Maury.

It is believed that redundancies could begin as soon as February, and will carry on over the course of 2021.

Asto did not, according to press reports, attain the level of growth required.

It did have some successes, however.

It struck up a partnership with eBay in 2019 designed to help sellers on the platform cover their short-term cash flow issues.

In a statement, Santander confirmed that it would be making the move.

It said that it was doing so as part of an effort to ensure that it provided the best possible service to customers.

“As part of our commitment to continuously evaluate our customer proposition, we have decided to wind down the business and operations of Asto Digital Limited,” a spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also went into more detail about why the decision had been taken.

They said that the bank would attempt to find other, more efficient ways for its resources to be used to help small and medium-sized firms that had previously used Asto’s services.

“Whilst the growth and momentum of Asto has been strong, we believe there are more effective ways in which the bank’s resources can be deployed to benefit our small business customers,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson confirmed that the bank would be assessing what was left of the Asto business to see what elements could be moved across to other parts of the Santander portfolio.

“We are exploring options for the continuation of elements of Asto’s business, which may include transferring certain activities to other group entities,” the spokesperson said.

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