Digital solution for cross-border payments
CardUp says platform allows businesses to instantly access credit on international payments
2 Dec 2020 | The Asset

CardUp, a digital credit card enablement platform, has launched a new solution that enables businesses in Singapore to make cross-border payments with credit cards, with no transaction limit, to overseas suppliers who do not accept card payments.

Businesses can make use of their available credit limit to delay the outflow of that expense for up to two months, on payments to over 100 countries, the fintech company says.

CardUp’s solution leverages the company’s status as a registered Visa Business Payment Solution Provider (BPSP) to help more businesses in Singapore tap onto their underutilized credit limits. To do so, CardUp charges a processing fee per transaction, but the company’s status as a registered Visa BPSP means customized rates can be offered to businesses, helping companies maximize their cashflow at a competitive price.

CardUp chief executive officer Nicki Ramsay explains: “Sustaining cashflow continues to be a problem for Singapore’s businesses during the economic slowdown. At the same time, businesses are operating in an increasingly global market, and make payments to suppliers around the world. We saw an opportunity to provide a solution that offers an alternative credit facility on these international payments, using available credit card lines while equipping businesses with the tools they need to automate their payment processing.

“Our collaboration with Visa allows us to double down on this flexibility for Singaporean businesses aiming to tide their cashflow with existing credit card lines, which is competitively priced and more convenient than conventional financing options, plus it’s quicker as there is no need for application or waiting times.”

Cashflow issues

During the “circuit-breaker” period in response to the Covid-19 crisis, many businesses in Singapore experienced significant financial difficulties, especially in terms of their cashflow. A survey by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Singapore showed that 66% of businesses halted or reduced their purchases, while 37% noted that they continued to face cashflow issues.

These enterprises have been particularly exposed to reduced short-term cashflow and debt, with many business owners finding it difficult to pay creditors on time.

“Businesses often think of credit cards solely as a payment method. However, a business credit card can also double up as a planning and budgeting tool, helping businesses extend their outstanding payables and optimize their working capital,” says Kunal Chatterjee, Visa country manager for Singapore and Brunei.

“Our partnership with CardUp helps expand the options for businesses to pay with their cards, especially for suppliers who do not previously have card acceptance. This will help to promote usage of digital payments for the entire business supply chain and help these businesses to have better visibility of their cashflow.”

CardUp, which currently operates in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, also provides businesses a digital interface where they can schedule recurring payments and monitor payment statuses all from one dashboard, allowing them to easily leverage data to track and reconcile payments. The platform also equips businesses with invoice automation tools to digitize payables and receivables processes.