The digital economy is rapidly growing in Southeast Asia, with more and more businesses turning to the internet for their payment needs. This presents a unique opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to capitalise on the growth of the digital economy, but also a challenge for them as they often lack the resources of larger corporations when it comes to managing their payments, putting them at a competitive disadvantage. So the question is: how can they keep up with their growing digital payment needs? Fortunately, there is a solution – Elevate, a powerful solution for business expenses designed specifically for SMEs in the region. Elevate contains a credit line, granted by FS Capital Pte. Ltd., and an add-on virtual card, powered by MatchMove, developed in partnership with MastercardⓇ.
According to the e-Conomy SEA 2022 Report by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company, the digital economy closed in on US$200 billion gross merchandise value (GMV) at the end of 2022 in Southeast Asia alone. This figure has doubled since 2019, and is projected to grow 20% year-on-year (YoY) to US$330 billion by 2025, powered by US$11 billion in e-commerce recovery. It is clear that post-pandemic digital behaviours are here to stay.
What does this mean for businesses?
Because consumers have significantly adapted their online behaviour and purchases, businesses must also respond to the changing needs and expectations of the market. In short, the accelerated shift towards digital adoption must not only happen on a retail level, but on a business level.
Businesses, especially SMEs, must adopt technology like never before. SMEs can no longer remain offline. Luckily, there are more digital tools than ever to aid businesses in running their operations and even to scale and thrive. The digital market is an opportunity – if SMEs can access it.
A crucial component for SMEs to adopt is digital financial services.
Digital Financial Services for Micro and Small Businesses
Digital financial services encompass several categories of products, including remittance, lending, and payments – with digital payments experiencing the highest usage increase. In a world becoming less cash-oriented by the day, digital transactions would likely become the norm. Yet, while mobile banking apps and e-wallets would be sufficient for individual customers, what about SMEs processing their business expenses? What would be the ideal digital payment service for the sector?
As the digital market grows, more SMEs are procuring their supplies from digital platforms – especially businesses in the retail, F&B, and e-commerce sectors. SMEs are often left frustrated with insufficient or tight payment terms from traditional suppliers.
Most SMEs in Singapore also lack a corporate credit line. To compensate, owners and directors would use personal credit cards to process online expenses and transactions. Substituting company accounts with personal credit cards is inconvenient and the limits of personal cards are often insufficient for larger-scale purchases.
Having a digital corporate card or credit line would not only make operations and supplier payments more efficient and convenient, it would also enable SMEs to extend their account payable dates. Yet paradoxically, it is difficult for SMEs to successfully apply for a corporate credit line facility. Most SMEs do not meet the requirements of traditional financial institutions. Even if they do, the application process is often long and tedious.
Introducing Elevate, A Virtual Card Tailor-Made for SMEs
To answer the growing appetite for digital financial solutions for SMEs, and as part of our continued commitment to serve Singapore’s SMEs sector, Funding Societies is launching Elevate, a business expense solution tailored to suit the needs of local SMEs.
While Elevate can be used for most online business expenses, it targets the specific problem of digital procurement for SMEs. In our digitised world, a creditworthy small business should have access to a virtual credit line in order to conveniently pay its company expenses. With an easy application process with approval from 1 business day, Elevate allows SMEs to adopt digital payments seamlessly and efficiently.
Each Elevate user would be assigned a virtual account, and monthly repayments are to be made to the account. Immediately upon approval and activation, you would be able to use the Elevate virtual card.
Your business will be eligible to apply if:
- Your enterprise (a) is at least an LLP or a Private Limited, and (b) has been incorporated for at least 6 months
- The Elevate application is filled and completed by a Registered Director of the company (who is at least 21 years old).
Applications are processed through Myinfo Business. In certain cases, our team will reach out to you for more information or documents.
Elevate is available for renewal annually.
Our world is now reliant on digital services. Businesses, no matter how small, must adapt in order to survive and thrive. From establishing a strong online presence to creating a solid digital financial system, a strong foundation would help SMEs tap into the burgeoning digital market. Along the way, Funding Societies hopes to support and boost your business journey.
Interested in what Elevate can do for your business? Visit our website to find out more!
Disclaimer: Elevate is not a credit card product. Elevate is a combination of a credit line facility offered by FS Capital Pte Ltd, with the convenience of quick and easy utilisation at any Mastercard accepted store or merchant via a virtual card separately powered by Mastercard and Matchmove. For more information, please refer to the Product Disclosure Sheet and Facility Terms and Conditions.
The information provided to you in this blog post is intended only for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. The materials and the information provided are not intended to be and do not constitute an advertisement or solicitation. In no event will Funding Societies be liable to any party for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or punitive damages for use of such information by you or any unauthorised third party.
The above article is updated on 10 April 2023 and accurate as of date of publication.
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