Abra Now Offers Deposits and Withdrawals at sixty US Financial Institutions – Bitcoin News
Abra Now Offers Deposits and Withdrawals at 60+ US Financial Institutions
The Bitcoin payments startup Abra has been busy adding to its service suggesting since Bitcoin.com reported on its progress in January. Abra users in the U.S. and the Philippines can buy bitcoin via their bank account or with cash. The list of supported banks has been growing quick. On Thursday, the company announced that over sixty U.S. banks and credit unions are now supported for both deposits and withdrawals.
60+ U.S. Financial Institutions Supported
Abra users geyser money into the company’s smartphone app in two ways; with a bank account or with cash. The company embarked suggesting the option to buy bitcoin via bank accounts in early March, but only to users in the U.S. and the Philippines. There is no fee to add, send, or withdraw money from a bank account. Primarily, only seventeen U.S. banks were supported. However, on Thursday, the company announced the addition of many more U.S. financial institutions, stating that:
Our latest update adds support for forty six fresh US banks and credit unions, bringing the total number of supported US banks and credit unions to 63.
“In the U.S., these banks are supported for adding and withdrawing funds held in the Abra app,” the company’s website states. At press time, there are thirty four banks and twenty nine credit unions supported. They include Bank of America, Capital One, Charles Schwab, Pursue, Citibank, Commerce Bank, Fidelity, Suntrust, TD Bank, USAA, Union Bank, and Wells Fargo.
In the Philippines, adding funds to an Abra account can be done through only three banks: BDO Unibank, BPI, and Unionbank. Withdrawals can be done via most major banks, according to the Abra’s website, including Bank of Commerce, Citibank, HSBC, Metrobank and Union Bank. A total list of supported financial institutions for both the U.S. and the Philippines can be found here.
What makes Abra unique, however, is its network of human tellers, which presently supports over fifty currencies globally. While users outside the U.S. and the Philippines will have to use bitcoin to add and withdraw money from the Abra wallet, a teller can give them their local currency. The company is presently working to build out its teller network so that users can cash in and out from anywhere around the globe. At the end of March, the company exposed that there are Abra tellers in over one hundred different cities worldwide including over 1,500 locations in the Philippines.
Abra users in the Bitcoin community are embarking to describe on social media their practices using the app. Reddit user “Pdubl” mentioned that he has tested out the fresh features successfully. “ACH transfer was relatively quick compared to Coinbase/Glidera, about 2-3 days,” he recalled and noted the fresh fee structure as well. He added:
The exchange rate seems to be about 1.5% but it’s built into the price. You also pay the BTC transaction fee when you withdraw.
ACH Transfer Thresholds, Rates, Time
Abra advertises “No transfer fees. Low exchange rates” on its website. “There’s a $500 daily limit on ACH-based cash fountains,” the startup also noted. Once the money is loaded into the Abra app, users can hold, spend and send bitcoin to other Abra users anywhere in the world, as well as receive it in their own local currency.
The company claims to suggest “the least expensive ACH-based option for buying bitcoin today.” At launch, it used Coinbase for bitcoin price conversion but has recently switched to using Tradeblock’s XBX Index. “This will result in a conversion rate that more closely tracks the global average across institutional bitcoin exchanges,” Thursday’s announcement reads.
In addition, Abra is “running tests to shorten the amount of time it takes to add money via bank deposit from 2-3 business days to 1-2 business days,” the company also exposed on Thursday. “In some cases we may require extra verification to protect the security of our customers’ accounts, which could add more time.”
One of Abra’s main goals has always been to jumpstart the mass adoption of Bitcoin. In its latest statements, the company wrote: “Bitcoiners can now send bitcoin to pay people without having to explain Bitcoin.” In addition, “they won’t even know the sender sent them bitcoin. Recipients can then cash out their wallet balance to their bank account in any of our supported countries or find an Abra Teller nearby if they need or choose to withdraw physical cash.”
Would you use Abra? Let us know in the comments section below.
Pictures courtesy of Shutterstock, Tradeblock and Abra
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