Frequently Asked Questions

Get to grip with the important bits

General

  • What is Asto?

    Asto is a mobile app that makes it easier for you to take control of your business, make more informed decisions about your finances, and help your business thrive, helping with your bookkeeping and keeping your cashflow positive.

  • How do I get Asto?

    It’s really simple! Just download the app on iOS, sign up, verify your email and that’s it. You’re done.

  • Is the app on Android as well?

    Asto is only on iOS for the moment, but will be on Android soon. If you sign up to our community, we’ll let you know as soon as the Android app is ready.

  • How much does it cost to use the app?

    Nothing. You’re free to use the app … for free. If we do add any paid features in the future, we’ll let you know about the costs. We promise not to sign you up for them without asking for your permission.

  • Do I need to be a UK resident to sign up?

    Yes.

  • Is Asto regulated?

    Yes, Asto Digital Limited is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Payment Service Regulations 2017 for the provision of payment services and under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 for the provision of consumer credit-related services. Our Firm Reference Number is 798694 and you can check the scope of our authorisation on the Financial Services Register

  • I can’t log into my Asto app?

    Please get in touch and we’ll sort it out. You can give us a call on 0808 164 4277 or Live Chat with us between 8am – 6pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). You can leave us a message at any time.

  • I’d like to give some feedback, how do I do that?

    We love feedback. Email us at help@asto.io or Live Chat with us between 8am – 6pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). You can leave us a message any time.

  • How do I close my account?

    We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you want to close your account, just get in touch and we’ll sort it out. You can also Live Chat with us or give us a call on  0808 164 4277 between 8am – 6pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). You can leave us a message at any time.

  • I’d like to make a complaint, how can I do this?

    If you think there’s something we’re not doing well, we would like to know so we can fix it. You can Live Chat with us between 8am – 6pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays), email us on help@asto.io or call us on 0808 164 4277.

    There’s more info on our complaints policy in our terms and conditions.

  • Is my data safe with Asto?

    Keeping your data safe and secure is essential. We built data security into the way we work – not as an afterthought. Your personal information is protected by technology, security policies and procedures that follow international standards.

    We regularly review and update these to meet our business needs, changes in technology and regulatory requirements.

  • How will Asto use my data?

    We use your data to provide you with services and support (if you have any questions). We may also disclose your data to some of our trusted third-parties that help deliver our services. It’s written in their contracts that they must protect the privacy and security of your information.

    We’ll never share your information with third-parties for marketing purposes without getting your permission first. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

  • Will the app use my mobile data?

    The app uses any available data connection when it’s open. If you’re not connected to a Wi-Fi network, it will use data from your allowance.

Account information services

  • What is Banking Aggregation?

    Banking Aggregation is a service that lets you see the balances of your various accounts through a single interface.  It does this using secure, industry-standard, open banking technology known as APIs (or Application Programming Interfaces) to connect to your bank with your permission.  Once connected, you will be able to view your balances, transaction data and perform other functions via other apps and services. In Asto, linking your bank account allows you to view your linked bank balances in one place.

  • How does it work?

    With your permission, it works using APIs to securely link through to your bank where you will typically log on using your normal online banking access details. This generates a secure token or code that we and your bank use to make sure it is you giving us access. We can then share with you your bank balances and transactions.

  • I cannot see my bank?

    To start with, the app will link to a few bank accounts. Currently we support Santander, Halifax, HSBC and Lloyds Bank. This list will grow. We’ll keep you updated as new banks are added.

  • How do you get my banking data? Is it safe?

    Your bank data is obtained via an Open Banking API. OpenBanking uses secure APIs and strong tokens to authenticate to your bank account. This is a lot more secure than previous methods of “scraping” data.

  • What banks can I aggregate?

    Currently, we have Santander, Halifax, Lloyds and HSBC. But this changes regularly and we’re adding to it all the time – you can see which ones are live in the app (“See the big picture – link your bank accounts”) section.

  • What things can I do with Open Banking?

    Currently, you can just view your aggregated available balances, and separately, any overdrafts you have in place.  In the future, you may be able to initiate payments – watch this space.

Receipts

  • What receipts can I upload?

    Any! If it’s a receipt for something you’ve bought or paid for, then snap away and we’ll store it for you. It can even be in a different currency. Please don’t take pictures of anything that might reveal any personal data about you.

  • I can’t capture a receipt

    Asto needs a clear, sharp photo of your whole receipt. Check that yours isn’t blurry and that no parts are cut off. We need to see the Merchant Name, Date, Amount and VAT details.

  • Will I be able to upload electronic receipts?

    Not yet, but we’d like to add this feature.

  • Will I be able to upload handwritten receipts?

    Yes, but they can be tricky for Asto to read. So you might need to manually add or amend some details to these yourself in the app. It’s a good idea to always check your receipt details have been properly recorded.

  • Can I transfer my receipt data into a report?

    Yes. Asto can export all of your data from the receipts you have saved in the app into a spreadsheet or PDF. You can then email this to yourself to share with your bookkeeper or accountant.

  • What should I do with my paper receipts?

    Once scanned, your receipts are safe with us. However, we recommend you hold on to the paper copies.

Making and sending an invoice

  • Will I be able to itemise an invoice with line items?

    Yes, it’s really easy to create itemised invoices, including details such as the description of the product/service, materials and/or labour hours. On the invoice creation screen, tap the ‘Total amount’ field and then the ‘+ add items’ button. On the next screen, fill in the details, decide whether to include VAT, then ‘Accept’ or ‘Add another item’.

  • Can I add VAT onto my invoice?

    VAT can be added by using + 20% VAT when adding line items or, for simple invoices, tapping the VAT toggle when entering your invoice amount. Either option will add a breakdown to show how much VAT has been added and a total.

  • Can I edit date and payment terms?

    You can give invoices custom due dates and set your own payments terms. Both options can be adjusted when you create an invoice or edit a draft. If you do set custom payment terms, we’ll let you know the new date your invoice will be due.

  • Can I change the logo on invoices?

    At the moment, you can’t add custom logos to invoices, but rest assured, this feature is coming soon.

  • Will I be able to update my payment details and business information?

    You can change a lot of your company details in the ‘Business profile’ section at the top left of an invoice. This includes your company name, company number, address, Vat number, sort code and account number. You can add IBAN, SWIFT and/or PayPal details there.

  • Are invoices numbered?

    Yes, all invoices are created with an auto-generated invoice number and increase in increments of one with each new invoice created.

  • Can I edit a sent invoice?

    No, editing a sent invoice is not possible. If you have made a mistake and need to change any aspect of it, you can delete the invoice and create a new one with the relevant details. Don’t forget, you may have to create and send a credit note for the invoice you have deleted.

  • Can I delete a sent invoice?

    Yes, there is a delete feature. In ‘Invoices’, select the invoice that you wish to delete. This will let you view the details. Make sure you’re in the correct invoice before deleting it. In the bottom right, select more. Here you will have the option to delete.

  • Where are all my ‘sent’ invoices?

    You can find all your sent invoices in the ‘Invoices’ section as well.

  • Can I change the colour of my invoice?

    Yes. You have the option to change the colour of your invoices when you save and preview. Select a new colour from the options below the preview screen. The preview will update with your chosen colour. Once happy, save and send.

  • Can I save draft invoices?

    No, this feature is not currently available. If you are creating an invoice and leave the creation screen, any details entered will be lost. You will need to populate these again if you wish to create another invoice.

  • How do I add bank, IBAN, PayPal details?

    You can add these details in the ‘Your business profile’, found in the top left of the ‘Invoices’ section. It’s also where you can adjust your company information and bank details.

  • Can I see if my invoice is paid?

    At this time, we do not provide the ability to track if your invoice is paid through the app. However, this will be coming soon.

  • Can I print my invoices from within the app?

    No, at this time there is no option for you to print invoices you have created from the app. You can, however, view all invoices sent from you invoices main screen.

  • Can I look up email addresses in my contacts?

    Yes, when entering the recipient email address, click the ‘+’ icon and you will see a list of all your contacts with email addresses. You can search for a name or email address using the search box at the top. Select the chosen address and this will be added in for you.

  • How do I preview my invoice?

    Once you have populated all the details for your invoice, press send in the top right corner. This will take you to a preview page where you can view your invoice. If there are any incorrect details or you wish to make a change, click the ‘<’ icon in the top left to take you back to edit.

  • Can I add other VAT rates (e.g. 5%)?

    The VAT toggle button on the app only allows for the standard rate of 20%. So if that is the rate you use, then your VAT can be calculated and added to your total automatically.

    However, if you are registered for an alternative amount, such as 5% for instance, then you will have to calculate the amount yourself. You can then simply mention it within the invoice as an individual, separate line item. You can also do this for CIS (Construction Industry Scheme) deductions.

Invoice Finance

  • What is Asto’s Invoice Finance?

    Invoice Finance is a handy way to unlock the money from your unpaid invoices before your customers pay you. Usually called ‘invoice discounting’, we pay you the money due on your invoice, minus our fee, in return for you selling to us the debt owed to you under the invoice.

    We agree on a date (up to 15 days from the due date you have agreed with your customer) when you’ll pay us the full amount of the invoice. You’re still responsible for collecting the money due from your customer on our behalf.

  • Is Invoice Finance a loan or credit?

    Invoice Finance is not a loan or a form of credit. When you ‘finance an invoice’, you are actually selling to us, and we are buying, the debt due under that invoice (that is, the invoice amount owed to you).

    We are not advancing credit to you, we are paying you an agreed purchase price for the amount owing under the invoice you have sold to us. You’re still responsible for collecting the money due from your customer on our behalf. Invoice Finance is a form of finance (in other words, a way of raising money) you might use to free up money tied up in your invoices to improve your cash flow.

    We are working on other finance products, including loans, and we will let you know when these are available.

  • What does it mean to 'finance an invoice' or 'sell an invoice'?

    When you use Asto’s Invoice Finance, you sell to us, and we buy, the total amount due under your invoice. That is bit of a mouthful to say each time, so we refer to this sale and purchase of the amount owed under the invoice as ‘financing an invoice’ or ‘selling an invoice’.

  • Is Invoice Finance regulated by the FCA?

    No. This service is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, or any other regulatory authority, so the protections of a regulated product do not apply.

  • Eligibility

  • Who is eligible?

    The following business entity types are currently eligible:

    • Sole traders

    We are working to make Private limited companies, Partnerships, and Limited Liability Partnerships eligible in the future.

    You must be an owner or director of your business and:

    • Be aged 18 or over and a UK resident
    • Not be bankrupt or subject to current bankruptcy proceedings and not previously disqualified as a director
    • If the business is a private limited company, it must not be in administration or in the process of being wound up or dissolved
    • The business must be UK based (and for private limited companies, UK registered as well)
  • What if my company is newly registered?

    You’re still eligible – just tell us as much as you can about your business.

  • Do I need to be a Santander customer?

    No, we don’t mind who you bank with.

  • Your Invoice Finance Pot

  • What is an Invoice Finance Pot?

    Your Invoice Finance Pot is the total value of invoices that we are willing to buy from you at any given time. Your Invoice Finance Pot is not a credit facility. We ultimately decide whether to buy the invoice amount owing under a particular invoice each time you offer to sell us one of your invoices. Your Invoice Finance Pot gives you an idea of the total value of invoices you could offer to sell to us so you can plan your cash flow needs. You can agree to sell as many invoices as you like, as long as the total amount is within this limit at any given time. There’s no obligation for you to use it and you only pay a fee for the invoices you choose to finance.

  • What does it mean to apply for an Invoice Finance Pot?

    It means you can find out the total value of invoices you can sell to us. It doesn’t cost you anything and there is no obligation to use it once your limit is approved.

  • How long does it take to apply for an Invoice Finance Pot?

    It should take minutes to complete the application, depending on your business. If you need to find some information, you can save what you’ve done part-way through and come back to it when you’re ready.

    Assuming we don’t need any other information from you, you will likely receive an answer straight after you’ve submitted your application. If we do need more information, it could take longer to give you an answer.

  • Do I have to finance an invoice once I have successfully applied for an Invoice Finance Pot?

    No, once you have an Invoice Finance Pot, you can sell the amount due under your invoices whenever you like. If you don’t use it, it won’t cost you a penny. You can access your Invoice Finance Pot through the app at any time. The size of your Invoice Finance Pot could change over time – we’ll let you know if it does.

  • Can my business have multiple Invoice Finance Pots?

    No, only one Invoice Finance Pot is available per business. However, you can sell debts due under as many invoices as you like within that amount.

  • Can the Invoice Finance Pot be accessed by multiple directors of my business?

    Currently, we only allow the applying director to have access to the Invoice Finance Pot. This may be a feature we will look at for the future depending on feedback from our customers.

  • How long will my Invoice Finance Pot be valid for?

    Your Invoice Finance Pot is valid for as long as you continue to operate within our terms and conditions. Your Invoice Finance Pot limit may change from time to time – we’ll let you know if it does.

  • How is the value of my Invoice Finance Pot determined?

    We calculate the size of the Invoice Finance Pot according to the circumstances of you and your business. This will include information such as your business turnover and the results of a ‘soft’ credit check.

  • Do you use an automated decision process?

    Yes, when you apply for an Invoice Finance Pot, we carry out an automated ‘soft’ credit check. This check will show up on your credit history, but normally shouldn’t affect it. We’ll use the results of this check, the information you give us and other information from third-parties to work out the size of your Pot.

    We use automation to process your application and meet our obligations under contract or to enter into a contract with you. You can ask for more information about this process or request we review the decision relating to your application by emailing us at help@asto.io. There’s more information about how we use your data in our Privacy Policy.

  • Can I request to increase or decrease my Invoice Finance Pot?

    Yes, you may request a reassessment of your Invoice Finance Pot. Please contact customer services to request a manual review.

  • Can the value of my Invoice Finance Pot change?

    Yes, your limit can increase or decrease, depending on the outcome of the assessments we make throughout your time as an Asto customer. You can say no to an increase if you wish. You can’t say no to a decrease, but you can ask us to review our decision.

  • What if my company cannot be found? (private limited company)

    If we can’t find your company at Companies House, we may ask you for more information to help us verify your business. Please contact customer services.

  • What if my company name appears incorrectly? (private limited company)

    We are not able to change information held at Companies House, you will need to do that separately. Once the information is correct, you can then continue with your application for an Invoice Finance Pot.

  • What if I do not have all the information required to apply for an Invoice Finance Pot?

    We only ask for information necessary to determine your Invoice Finance Pot. Without this, we may not be able to calculate your Invoice Finance Pot. You can always save the application and come back to it later when you have all the necessary information.

  • What if I do not know which countries I will be trading in over the next two years?

    Let us know which countries you think you’ll be trading in. If this changes, you can always update us when you know.

  • Declined Invoice Finance Pot application

  • Why did my application for an Invoice Finance Pot get declined?

    There could be a number of factors that lead to being declined for an Invoice Finance Pot. This could include the credit score for you, your business or your fellow directors. You can obtain a copy of your credit report from a credit reference agency. There are also certain kinds of businesses whose invoices we cannot purchase.

  • Can I appeal your decision on my application?

    Yes, you have the right to appeal our decision. You can request that we review the decision on your application by emailing us at help@asto.io.

  • Setting up my Invoice Finance Pot

  • What documentation do I need to provide to set up my Invoice Finance Pot?

    We require proof of your identity. This can be in the form of a photo of your passport, national identity card, a photo-card driving licence or residence permit card.

  • Do I need to provide any documentation about my bank account?

    No, you just need your registered account holder’s name, sort code and account number.

  • Dates and fees

  • What are the fees involved?

    There’s no cost to see if you qualify for an Invoice Finance Pot, and there’s no obligation to use it. However, if you decide to sell us an invoice, we will buy the debt owed to you under the invoice, minus our fee. We refer to this as ‘Our fee’ or the ‘Finance Fee’.

  • How do you calculate your Finance Fee?

    Our Finance Fee is calculated using the total invoice value, the date you agree to pay us, and your personal daily fee. We will deduct the Finance Fee from the amount we pay you when we buy your invoice.

  • What is my personal daily fee?

    Your personal daily fee is the level of ‘discount’ we apply to the total value of your invoice, worked out on a daily basis. This ‘discount’ represents the fee you agree pay to us for buying the total debt owed to you under the invoice. This is worked out according to the circumstances of you and your business.

  • What is the payment date or settlement date?

    The payment date (or “settlement date” as we call it) is the date you agree to pay us the full invoice amount. The settlement date can be up to 15 days after the invoice due date you have agreed with your customer. We’ll collect the full invoice amount by Direct Debit.

  • How do you determine how long a settlement date can be?

    You can select up to 15 days after the invoice due date. We can buy invoices that are due between a minimum of 10 days and a maximum of 90 days.

    The settlement date you choose must be linked to the invoice you are selling to us. For example, if your invoice is due in 60 days, you can agree a settlement date that is between 10 and 75 days from the invoice due date. The invoice due date you have agreed with your customer must not have expired.

  • How do I select the settlement date?

    In the app, when you have selected an invoice you wish to unlock, the screen will show settlement date options linked to your invoice due date. You will be able to choose your settlement date, from a minimum of 10 days from the invoice due date up to a maximum of 15 days after the invoice due date. The shorter the settlement period, the lower your fee will be.

  • Can you show me an example of how the dates and fees work?

    Have a look at our calculator.

  • What fees will I be charged if I miss a payment?

    We will charge a one-off £15 late payment fee if you do not pay us on the agreed date for settlement. You will also continue to incur a finance fee, based on your personal daily fee, for each day you are late until you’ve paid us in full.

  • Confidentiality

  • Is my use of Invoice Finance confidential?

    Yes, this service is confidential. However, in exceptional circumstances, like when you don’t pay us on the agreed date, we may need to contact your customer. This could be to let them know you have used our service to allow us to recover any money due to us directly from your customer. There’s more about this in our Invoice Finance Terms and Conditions.

  • How is my information used?

    Information about how we use and protect your personal data is in our Privacy Policy.

  • Unlocking the money in an invoice

  • What documentation do I need to provide to free up money in my invoice?

    If you decide to free up the money in an invoice, you will need to provide details and a photo of the invoice.
    The following details must be legible from the photo:

    • Total invoice amount
    • Due date or agreed payment term
    • Your customer’s name and address
    • Invoice number or reference code
  • Do I have to sell Asto all my invoices?

    No, you choose the invoices you’d like to offer to sell to us – it’s up to you.

  • Are there any limits on how many invoices I sell to Asto?

    No, you can sell as many invoices as you like, as long as it’s within your Pot limit and the invoices are eligible for sale to us.

  • Are there any restrictions on the value of invoices I can sell?

    You can offer to sell an invoice as long as the invoice value is more than £150, less than £100,000, and within your available Invoice Finance Pot amount.

  • Are there any invoices that you do not buy?

    We can buy most invoices issued in pounds sterling to people or businesses in the UK. However, we will not buy, and you must not try to sell us, any invoice:

    • That is not genuine
    • Related to illegal activity
    • Issued to a registered charity
    • Issued to businesses which hire goods, equipment, or lend money to others
    • With staged payments

    We are not able to buy invoices that do not legibly state:

    • The total amount
    • The currency of the total amount
    • A due date or payment term
    • The customer’s name and address
    • The invoice number or reference code

    We are not able to buy invoices:

    • Where the value is less than £150, more than £100,000, or would cause you to exceed your Invoice Finance Pot amount
    • That are not issued in pounds sterling (GBP)
    • That are overdue
    • That are due in less than 10 days or more than 90 days
  • Receiving the funds for an invoice and making a payment

  • How will I receive the funds for an invoice and make a payment?

    When you set up your Invoice Finance Pot, you will be asked to enter details of the bank account that you’d like the funds to be sent to. When you sell us an invoice, we’ll set up a Direct Debit for that bank account. We will collect payment on the date we agree to in your financing terms.

  • Can I have separate bank accounts for receiving the funds and settling a payment?

    No, we require you to provide details of one bank account for receiving and paying your invoice financing.

  • How quickly will I receive the funds?

    In most cases the money will be transferred to your bank account within hours, if not sooner.

  • Can the funds from Asto be paid into a non-UK bank account or foreign currency account?

    No, we only pay money into, and accept payment owed to us from, UK bank accounts in pounds sterling (GBP).

  • What if my bank account does not allow Direct Debits?

    We are not able to send you money for an invoice if your bank does not allow you to make payments by Direct Debit.

  • I have already settled payment, why is this not reflected in my Invoice Finance Pot?

    It can take up to 48 hours for payments to be reflected in your Invoice Finance Pot limit.

  • Difficulty settling my invoice finance

  • What if my customer does not pay or delays paying the invoice?

    When you sell an invoice, we set up a Direct Debit to collect the total invoice amount from your account. This is regardless of whether your customer pays you or not. You are responsible for collecting payment from your customer on our behalf. You must ensure sufficient funds are in your account on the payment date you agree with us.

  • What if my business is unable to pay amounts owed to Asto?

    You are responsible for collecting the debt due from your customer on our behalf and paying the full amount to us. Once you have received payment, you are required to hold the money for us until the settlement date. You may not use this money for any other purpose. If your customer fails to pay you, you still need to pay us the total invoice amount on the settlement date.

    If you do not pay the amount due to us on the agreed payment date, you won’t be able to access any further invoice finance and your account will be passed to our collections team.

    We may need to inform your customer that you have used our services and recover payment of the relevant invoice from them directly. In certain circumstances, we may ultimately need take legal action against you to recover amounts due to us.

    If you are a private limited company, we also require a director to enter into a personal guarantee with us before your company can obtain invoice finance. This guarantee makes the director personally responsible for all money the business owes to Asto.

    If the business fails or is unable to pay us, we may seek to recover money owed to us from the director. You can see the form of director’s personal guarantee Asto requires for more information.

    Failure to pay us when agreed might also result in your credit rating being affected.

  • If I do not pay on time, will the size of my Invoice Finance Pot change?

    If you do not pay us on time, we may freeze your Invoice Finance Pot. This means we will not purchase any further invoices from you. We may also require immediate payment of any other monies you owe to us.

  • Can I settle my invoice finance early?

    You can pay us earlier than the agreed settlement date, but it’s important to understand that early settlement doesn’t change the Finance Fee. For this reason, it’s important you select a settlement date you’re happy with. The shorter the settlement period, the lower your fee will be.

    If you’d like to settle payment earlier than agreed, please contact our Customer Services team on 0808 164 4277. You’ll need to arrange for a bank transfer to pay us early and cancel your direct debit. If you choose to pay us early, and your Settlement Date is less than 7 days away, we may not be able to stop the direct debit payment being collected.

  • Anything we’ve not covered?

    Please contact our friendly customer services staff if any of the following arise:

    • your correspondence email address changes
    • your personal or company information changes – we may need to see proof of the change
    • your payment details change
    • your business entity type (e.g. sole trader / private limited company) changes
    • you notice activity on your account you don’t recognise
    • if you have a problem with your Invoice Finance Pot

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