2020 has been nothing short of a challenge for everyone, especially for businesses across the globe. As we come to the end of 2020, we look back at some of our milestones including how Aspire has supported small businesses 365 days a year and our journey towards becoming the leading neobanking platform in our region.
Aspire began as a beta debit account aimed to provide SMEs and startups with quick and easy access to working capital on demand. From those humble beginnings, we have expanded our digital offerings and launched the first Aspire corporate card in the first quarter of 2020, which has now become our most popular product offering. Following our corporate card launch, we’ve released advanced card management features and created a fully digital onboarding process for our growing customer base.
While the Fintech industry still thrived amidst the pandemic, not every business was as lucky. In April, the Aspire team launched the COVID-19 relief campaign to help small local businesses recover by creating Gift & Loyalty cards for sale. This helped business owners flatten the curve of lost income brought on by the current downtime economy. On top of that, Aspire’s partnership with Lazada offered its merchants up to S$100,000 in working capital support for SMEs to maintain operations during Singapore’s circuit-breaker period.
In May, Aspire also clinched the top spot at the 9th edition of Singapore Business Review’s 20 Hottest Startups, proving how tech startups are the future of business.
Pandemics and virtual connections certainly work well together. We tapped into cross-border partnerships with like-minded businesses in order to expand our existing services to users outside of our shores. Some of these include our same-day online incorporation and business account opening with Osome; swift and easy international money transfers with Transferwise; as well as enabling the Google Pay feature on Aspire virtual cards in partnership with Nium.
Circles.Life has also made it to the list of some of our most notable partnerships this year. To support COVID-hit businesses, all Aspire customers will have access to a full suite of products and services from Circles.Life at a discounted rate. Leading online accounting software Xero also joined the mix last November to provide hourly syncs for all Aspire users on their transactions and accounting activity, significantly minimising manual data entry and errors for SMEs. Lastly, Aspire was delighted to be TechinAsia’s official business account partner.
Beyond introducing brand new features and launching cross-border partnerships, Aspire also bagged several awards this December including the TechNode Global Startup-Fintech Award and first place in the OCB Open API Challenge 2020. The team has also made it as one of the finalists at the 2020 MAS Fintech Awards, which recognises ground-breaking solutions that enable the financial sector to respond more effectively to sustainability and COVID-19.
With the ongoing pandemic and economic crisis, it’s hard to say what the grand scheme of things will look like in 2021. But at Aspire, what we do know is that we will continue to create the best banking solutions for our customers and the industry at large. Business users can look forward to both enhanced and new features, as well as partnerships that will improve their digital experiences.
Thank you for being a part of our journey and we look forward to 2021! 🌟