TransferWise for Banks lands in Singapore with Aspire as First Neobank Integration

By
Writers@Aspire
Published
December 29, 2020

Singapore, 29 July: ​TransferWise,​ the global technology company building the best way to move money around the world, today announced that TransferWise for Banks in now live in Singapore with ​Aspire​, a Singapore-based fintech startup serving a new generation of digital-savvy businesses with a mobile-first digital business account.

TransferWise’s first of its kind offering enables banks, digital wallets, and other financial institutions to integrate TransferWise’s open API directly into their infrastructure, making it faster and easier for these institutions to offer seamless international transfers in over 50 currencies to their own customers.

Entrepreneurs and businesses using Aspire will now be able to access TransferWise’s lightning fast and low-cost international money transfers directly from their transaction account, without having to leave the Aspire app. This makes it even more convenient for these businesses to tap into TransferWise’s instant international transfers than using TransferWise directly.

The integration with TransferWise makes Aspire the first neobank in Singapore to provide international money transfers with no exchange rate markups or other hidden fees. Aspire customers will know upfront exactly how much they’ll pay in fees and the corresponding amount in the foreign currency. According to data provided by independent comparison website, ​Monito.com​, this could be around 4 times cheaper on average, compared to bank providers like HSBC, OCBC, Maybank and UOB*.

**Price comparison data for Singaporean banks' international telegraphic transfer service (TT) are based on data obtained online on the respective bank's website, on tariff brochures and by calling customer support on 16/07/2020. Monito then compared the fees and exchange rates with XE's mid-market rate at the time of collection (or publication of the rates, when available) to calculate the total costs (S$ or %).

With cost a critical consideration for resource-lean SMEs, especially today, this collaboration hopes to help level the playing field for these businesses as they expand and operate internationally. In fact, research shows that foreign currency exchange issues is one of the top three hurdles faced by Singapore SMEs operating overseas**.

**Reported in T​he Straits Times.​

The launch in Singapore today marks TransferWise's first such partnership in Asia, following on from partnerships across Europe and the US, including Monzo in the UK, bunq in the Netherlands, N26 and Mambu in Germany, neon in Switzerland, Activo Bank in Portugal and LHV in Estonia, Novo and Stanford Federal Credit Union in the US, and EQ in Canada.

The TransferWise and Aspire partnership aims to accelerate their shared vision to simplify and bring greater transparency in the traditional banking sector.

TransferWise Head of APAC and Middle East Expansion, Venkatesh Saha​ said:“Bringing TransferWise for Banks to Singapore brings us one step closer to achieving our mission of making moving money faster, cheaper and more transparent for everyone, everywhere, including businesses. We’re thrilled to have Aspire onboard as our first partner in Singapore and in Asia.

“Though an email can travel around the world in a matter of seconds, moving money internationally is still incredibly cumbersome, slow and expensive, disproportionately impacting the small and medium businesses who can least afford them. This is particularly key in Singapore, an export-led economy where small and medium enterprises comprise around 99% of all businesses in the country.

“TransferWise and Aspire share a common vision to change this status quo and to modernise the international financial system to provide a fair and transparent banking experience for everyone. With this integration, Aspire’s small business customers will be able to access the fastest and cheapest way to send international payments, in some cases, about 4 times cheaper than traditional providers.”

Aspire Co-founder and CEO, Andrea Baronchelli, said: “We’re excited that small businesses and business owners using Aspire can now make international payments through our partnership with TransferWise. TransferWise and Aspire both share an ambition to build a new standard in banking and international transfers.

“Our aspiration and mission is to provide easy, fast, and transparent banking solutions to the thousands of businesses that form the backbone of the economy here in Singapore and across the region.

“Leveraging TransferWise’s open API allows us to do this without much additional and expensive build, enabling us to unlock cross-border payments for our thousands of customers quickly and easily.”

About TransferWise

TransferWise is a global technology company that’s building the best way to move money around the world. Whether you’re sending money to another country, spending money abroad, or making and receiving international business payments, TransferWise is on a mission to make your life easier and save you money.

Co-founded by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, TransferWise launched in 2011. It is one of the world’s fastest growing tech firms having raised over $1 billion in primary and secondary transactions from investors such as D1 Capital Partners, Lead Edge, Lone Pine, Vitruvian, IVP, Merian Chrysalis Investment Company Lt​d​, Andreessen Horowitz, Sir Richard Branson, Valar Ventures and Max Levchin from PayPal.

Over eight million people use TransferWise, which processes over £4 billion in cross-border payments every month, saving customers over £1 billion a year.

About Aspire

Aspire is a leading SME-focused Fintech serving a new generation of digital-savvy businesses with a mobile-first digital business account across Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore. Founded in January 2018 by former Lazada founders and executives, the company graduated from Y Combinator Winter 2018 batch and it is part of the YC Continuity Growth program Winter 2020.

With Aspire, business owners can have fast and simple access to financial services for their business operations anywhere and at any time through their mobile phones. Aspire is here to be the preferred financial partner for Southeast Asia’s MSMEs.

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