Education, How Abra Works

Using Abra to buy bitcoin with your bank account

This post has been updated in July 2019 to reflect changes in the app. 

In this post, we’ll look at how buying bitcoin with a supported bank account works, and the steps you need to take to start #StackingSats. 

One of the biggest things to understand is that you can use the Abra app to send, receive, and hodl bitcoin all right in the app. (Also, on a related note, check out this post on crypto-cost averaging.) 

Several ways to buy bitcoin with a bank account

Today, the Abra wallet supports several ways to buy bitcoin in the app: Bank account ACH transfers, bank wire transfers, and by using a credit card. Bank account (ACH) transfers are available in the US and the Philippines, while SEPA bank transfers are available in Europe.

We’ll cover how to buy bitcoin with your bank account via  ACH transfer. If you are interested in investing in other assets via Abra, then you can also follow these instructions.

Here is a list of the cryptoassets currently available in the app.

Buying bitcoin with bank account (ACH) transfers

As mentioned above, bank account transfers are available in the US and the Philippines. In the US, Abra works with the fintech company Plaid to make thousands of banks and credit unions available to connect to the Abra app. 

STEP 1: Add money to your Abra wallet from your bank account

This screen shows how to buy bitcoin with a bank account using the Abra appFrom the portfolio screen of your Abra app, press the “add money” button (it’s in the bottom menu). This will take you to the screen with the different options for funding your wallet. Depending on where you are in the world, you will see the funding options available in your area. If bank transfers are available, you will see the bank transfer and/or the bank wire transfer displayed here.

If the bank transfer option is available, and you want to initiate a bank transfer, select the “Bank ACH transfer” button and then select your bank account.

Note: The sequence of steps is different for the Philippines, so please follow the instructions within the app. 

There is a $2,000 daily limit on ACH transfers. If you need higher limits, check out the Abra wire program.

After initiating the deposit from your bank, it usually takes one to two business days for your funds to become available in the app. You will receive a notification from Abra once the funds are in the app and ready to use to purchase bitcoin. (Make sure you have push notifications enabled on your phone.)

STEP 2: Adding bitcoin to your portfolio

This screen shows how to buy bitcoin with a bank account in the Abra appNow that you have money in your Abra wallet, you can convert that balance into bitcoin. Bitcoin can be purchased in fractional amounts (in other words, you don’t need to buy an entire bitcoin at once, you can start by buying a minimum of $5).   

Make sure that bitcoin is part of your portfolio. To check, look at the list on your home screen. If it’s not on that list, tap the “Manage Assets” menu from the upper right corner of the app. Then select bitcoin from the crypto asset menu. Once selected, bitcoin will be added to your portfolio. You will also see the other assets that are available from this screen.

STEP 3: Converting assets to bitcoin

This screen show how to buy bitcoin from a bank account in the Abra appNavigate back to portfolio screen by hitting the back button. Then hit the “Exchange” button in the bottom part of the app. 

Next, input the amount you want to transfer. In this example, we’re converting the entire USD wallet balance into the bitcoin wallet, so we would select the “convert maximum available balance” button.

You will then be asked to confirm the transaction, so make sure everything is correct. Once you confirm, your transaction will process, and you’ll get your bitcoin.

Success! You have just completed a purchase of bitcoin with your Abra wallet.

(Note that all bitcoin transactions are subject to a blockchain confirmation time, which ranges from 10 minutes to several hours, depending on network congestion. Until the transaction is confirmed, you will not be able to move your bitcoin from Abra to an external bitcoin wallet. That is why your “available balance” might differ from your wallet balance for a short period of time.  

Don’t yet have an Abra wallet? Download the app here (for iOS or Android).

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