CardUp to capitalise on cashless payment boom

The platform allows any big expense made by bank transfers, cheques or cash to be shifted to cards

by LYDIA NATHAN / Pic credit:

DIGITAL credit card platform, CardUp, is planning to capitalise on the adoption of digital payments as more digital banking options are made available in the region.

Its founder and CEO Nicki Ramsay said last year highlighted the importance of having digitised business processes and a healthy cashflow especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“The payments space is becoming increasingly fragmented and the process of taking payment is complex from start to finish as there are many parties involved.

“As such, we’re introducing more features in the aspect of SME automation, to help businesses save time through invoice management tools and integrations to accounting and ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems for seamless data flow,” she told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) in an interview recently.

Founded in Singapore in 2016, the company started off as a onestop-shop for card payments aimed at improving the way customers pay and get paid, as well as to have access to credit and manage payments.

CardUp allows any big expense previously made by bank transfers, cheques or cash to be shifted to cards, even where cards are not accepted. This includes rent, insurance premiums, employee’s payroll, supplier invoices and many others.

“CardUp has since gone on to launch merchant card solutions, card enablement and payment automation tools that help SMEs save time and automate their finance processes.

“CardUp’s partnership with Visa Inc as a registered business payment solution provider further enables Malaysia-based businesses to maximise their cashflow by tapping onto pre-approved credit card lines at customised rates,” she said.

The company only recently launched operations in Malaysia and Hong Kong in 2020.

Ramsay said the technology used by the company is able to connect systems across acquiring banks, payment networks which enable the shifting of bank transfers or cheques to card payment regardless of whether the end-recipient accepts cards.

“This helps businesses maximise the benefits of card payments to conserve cash on hand, especially relevant in today’s post-pandemic world where businesses have faced immense cashflow pressure from low inflows due to drop in sales and late payments.

“CardUp also equips businesses with tools to automate and digitise payment processes, helping finance teams work remotely in the new norm of reduced face-time.

“This has helped the card sector open up opportunities worth RM4.13 trillion by allowing businesses to use their heavily underutilised credit limits for payments,” she said.

Ramsay expects the cashless payment trend will continue to grow in Asia as most governments across the region have expressed strong support for its adoption.

“Of course, there will be some industries and segments that will not move as quickly as the rest though. Business payments, for example, is a space that will require more time before it becomes fully cashless for various reasons including needing the proper skills set and resources, as well as the challenges SMEs face which is why traditional methods such as cash, cheque and bank transfers remain the payment methods of choice,” Ramsay said.

He said the platform has plans in the pipeline for added features in the automation process and will be expanding to other countries.

“We believe the pain points we are solving for businesses are universal, so yes, we are excited to expand our services to more markets over the next one to two years,” she added.