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SME Featured Southeast Asia

Airwallex launches virtual B2B Visa debit card in Singapore

Singapore – After officially entering the Singapore market in January, global fintech Airwallex continues to progressively roll out key offerings in its global payments suite with the launch of its new Airwallex Borderless Card and integrated expense management solution.

Available to all Airwallex customers in Singapore, the Airwallex Borderless Card is a virtual multi-currency Visa business debit card that enables businesses to easily make online card payments anywhere that Visa is accepted, from Singapore and to the rest of the world.

Singapore-based companies can now instantly generate and issue virtual multi-currency business debit cards to promptly pay third parties, such as vendors and other online merchants with Airwallex’s market-leading foreign exchange rates wherever Visa cards are accepted. 

In addition to the Borderless Card, Airwallex is also launching its Expenses solution in Singapore. Singapore businesses will be able to streamline their expense processes with a single integrated platform to manage spending, seamlessly upload receipts for approval, reconcile expenses, and gain real-time visibility over card transactions.

Airwallex and Visa first announced their global strategic partnership in February 2020, and have since introduced the Airwallex Borderless Card to businesses in Australia, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States. 

“We’ve seen many of our global customers benefit from our cards offering, including significant cost savings on USD Software as a Service (SaaS) card spend and international transfer fees. We are so pleased that we can now offer Singapore businesses all the same benefits, providing them with greater flexibility and control over their cross-border card payments,” said Arnold Chan, Airwallex’s head of growth for Singapore.

“Today’s virtual cards and expenses launch is another significant step towards a full rollout of our global payments offerings in Singapore. We strive to become an integral one-stop-shop for any Singapore business requiring support with business finances across the entire transaction lifecycle, and by doing so, empower them to manage and grow both their local and global operations exponentially,” added Chan.

Kunal Chatterjee, Visa’s country manager for Singapore & Brunei, said that with Singapore being a global hub for commerce and SMEs looking to transact with counterparties globally, it is crucial to empower them with convenient and seamless cross-border payment solutions. 

“At Visa, we remain committed to working with our partners and being at the forefront in providing innovative payment solutions, helping businesses streamline their payment processes and improving the efficiency of international payments,” said Chatterjee. 

Over the coming months, Airwallex plans on expanding its card functionality, including enabling physical cards for business owners and for their employees’ work expenses, and digital wallet integration. 

Airwallex was founded in Melbourne in 2015, and in just six years, the company has secured more than US$800m in funding and a valuation of US$5.5b. Last April in Hong Kong, the fintech launched an SME support initiative worth HK$2.5m, where they provided a series of exclusive offers to help businesses recover and reopen from the pandemic while managing costs.

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SME Featured East Asia

Airwallex launches HK$2.5m SME support initiative in Hong Kong

Hong Kong – Fintech platform Airwallex has launched an SME support initiative worth HK$2.5m, where they will provide a series of exclusive offers to help businesses recover and reopen from the pandemic while managing costs.

Through this initiative, SMEs can open an Airwallex business account for free, and also enjoy HK$0 transfer fees for international payments to 60 destinations. Customers will also be able to enjoy exclusive subscription fee discounts, rebates and other perks through Airwallex’s local partners including Boutir, Bowtie, GOGOX, Google Ads, Google Workspace, SleekFlow, Xero and YOOV. 

Arnold Chan, head of SME for Hong Kong and Singapore at Airwallex, said, “SMEs are the backbone of Hong Kong’s economy, and in the months ahead, many of these businesses will continue to face challenges in managing their financials and cash flows.”

He added, “As the pandemic situation continues to impact local businesses, we hope that by doing our small part, we can help local businesses power through these difficult times and facilitate their path to recovery. With support from our partners, our offers aim to provide a more convenient and cost-efficient solution for making cross-border payments.”

The initiative comes as Hong Kong SMEs continue to combat the coronavirus related economic disruptions, and are experiencing numerous hurdles as they try to recover and rebuild in the wake of the pandemic. With over 340,000 SMEs operating in Hong Kong today, these businesses serve as vital economic engines for the city.
Airwallex had recently partnered with Hong Kong-based investment company Choco Up to support the future growth of cross-border e-commerce in the region, as well as expanding its services in Singapore.

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Technology Featured East Asia

Choco Up partners with Airwallex to leverage cross-border e-commerce in Asia

Hong Kong — Choco Up, the Hong Kong-based financing and growth platform, has announced its partnership with fintech company Airwallex to support the future growth of cross-border e-commerce. By combining Airwallex’s proprietary global payments infrastructure with Choco Up’s flexible recurring funding solutions, the collaboration enables a comprehensive and integrated finance solution for e-commerce companies across Asia.

Leveraged by Airwallex, Choco Up is able to offer a one of its kind, turnkey solution covering cross-border payments, collections, and growth funding, and addresses the needs that will enable e-commerce firms of all sizes to grow beyond geographical boundaries without financial constraints.

Kai Wu, CEO of Airwallex Greater China, commented that they are pleased to have been chosen as Choco Up’s partner as they continue to support the growth of e-commerce companies across the region.

“Businesses today require easy-to-use, accessible, safe and cost-efficient payment options and our global financial infrastructure can enable that for businesses like Choco Up. Our scale API solution offers a centralized way to manage cross-border payment complexities, so businesses can easily transact internationally. We look forward to continuing our partnership in APAC and beyond, empowering businesses of all sizes to operate anywhere, anytime,” Wu said. 

Choco Up provides e-commerce companies with flexible funding ranging from US$10,000 to US$10m to accelerate their growth. Choco Up’s proprietary fintech platform allows for a seamless, automated funding process. By connecting the companies’ sales and marketing accounts to their data integration platform, Choco Up can efficiently conduct artificial intelligence-driven risk assessments on applicant companies within hours. The information gathered enables e-commerce companies to see all their business performance data in one place, helping them identify pain points, optimize their businesses, and stay on top of the competition.

Brian Tsang, co-founder and COO of Choco Up, said that the pandemic has propelled even faster growth of e-commerce companies over the past couple of years, many of whom are in search of new funding and payments options to enable more sustained long-term growth regionally/internationally.

“Partnering with Airwallex allows us to build a comprehensive hassle-free payment and funding infrastructure in Asia to empower these businesses to scale across borders without complications and co-create a better future for cross-border e-commerce in Asia,” Tsang said.

Bringing together Airwallex’s global payment technology with Choco Up’s funding platform and analytics tools, this solution will serve as a one-stop-shop for e-commerce companies looking to expand internationally. Airwallex’s global payment software lets e-commerce businesses make cross-border payments in more than 130 currencies at significantly lower costs because of their market-leading foreign exchange rates. In addition, Airwallex Borderless Cards will enable e-commerce merchants to make digital payments across borders that are more secure, transparent, and efficient.

Last January, Airwallex launched its fintech platform in Singapore.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Fintech platform Airwallex officially launches in Singapore

Singapore – Global payments platform Airwallex officially launches in Singapore this year, following a beta test in November 2021, and an approval grant from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MSA).

Through the market expansion, Singapore businesses can now benefit from Airwallex’s suite of global payments services including global account issuance, domestic and cross-border money transfer at market-leading rates, multi-currency wallets, and online payments acceptance.

In addition, Airwallex’s global customers will also be able to receive funds locally in Singaporean dollars, making their businesses more accessible to the Singapore market.

For Nazim Ali, CEO at Airwallex Singapore, Singapore has established itself as a major international hub for global technology and innovation, supported by a dynamic business community across startups, major financial service institutions and a growing talent pool.

“That said, many Singapore businesses – SMEs or larger enterprises – still face challenges with international payments, and are looking for better partners like Airwallex that help them tackle that cross-border payments complexity. Since we were founded, we have enabled the global growth of many businesses. With this official launch we’re pleased to be able to empower Singapore businesses in the same way by supporting their payment needs across their entire transaction life cycle,” Ali explained.

This was not the first time Airwallex ventured into the Southeast Asian market. In September 2021, the company secured a money service business (MSB) license in Malaysia with an expected launch in the coming months, raised US$300m in its Series E and E1 fundraising rounds, and increased its valuation to US$5.5b.

“Our launch in Singapore is just the beginning of a wider journey. Growing our presence and payments capability across Southeast Asia is part of our ambitious expansion plan for 2022, and Singapore is no doubt instrumental to this growth. We look forward to expanding our product suite and supporting businesses in Singapore, as well as tapping into its influence as a leading tech and innovation hub to better serve our customers in the region,” Ali concluded.