15 October 2020, Singapore – Singapore-based fintech Finaxar announced has the launch of Flex by Finaxar, a unified spend management solution jointly developed in partnership with leading global payments technology company, Visa. With the aim of providing businesses a platform to unify spend, payables and receivables, the solution is part of Finaxar’s focus to transform and digitise SME finance.
Vihang Patel, Co-founder and CEO of Finaxar, said, “Having worked closely with SMEs, we realised that businesses are challenged by slow transaction times due to manual administration of invoices, payments and receivables. This impacts their cash flow and overall responsiveness to business demands.” He added, “Developing Flex by Finaxar was our natural next step in creating a unified platform and tapping on Visa’s strong global payments network and ecosystem, we can solve the challenges faced by SMEs and provide them working capital to address their needs.”
According to a recent study by SAP Concur, the potential economic loss across Asia Pacific (APAC) due to inefficient finance and administrative processes could amount to US$21.5 billion annually. In Singapore’s context, this results in companies losing US$340 million annually. While many organisations have embarked on their digital transformation journeys, many continue to handle expense claims manually. The study surveyed over 2,000 respondents across APAC who are finance and expense users and found that about 49 per cent of employees are dissatisfied with the current amount of time and effort spent on finance matters, indicating that several aspects of their firm’s expense management systems can be improved.
Flex by Finaxar was launched with the aim of providing SMEs and their employees the flexibility to control their spend using a single business platform. The all-in-one spend management platform enables SMEs to:
- Regulate their spending: Businesses can determine exactly where and when the money was spent by setting up request-approval workflows and customising spend limits.
- Manage their spending: With the issuance of physical and virtual Flex Visa corporate cards, businesses can capture and monitor invoices, initiate payments and reconcile their payments using their accounting software via a single platform.
- Track their transactions: Using real-time spend insights, businesses can obtain an up-to-date, accurate, and comprehensive financial outlook – and easily integrate to any existing accounting software.
“While Singapore is benefiting from digitalisation and growth of electronic payments, SMEs have not fully embarked on this journey and continue to be challenged by cash-flow visibility issues, primarily caused by reliance on manual processes. Finaxar was the winner of our Visa Everywhere Initiative challenge last year, and this provided us the opportunity to partner with them to transform business financing and solve working capital challenges faced by SMEs. We want to support SMEs in their business growth, and the introduction of digital payment solutions such as Flex by Finaxar to provide SMEs virtual and physical corporate cards, will help their companies and employees become more productive and efficient, thus enabling them to concentrate their efforts on increasing their business revenues,” said Kunal Chatterjee, Visa Country Manager for Singapore & Brunei.
Flex Visa Card – integrated to monitor, allocate and reconcile business spend
As published in a First Data White Paper, with the growth of commercial spending comes the rise of commercial card purchase volumes. The introduction of e-invoicing and B2B payment solutions, commercial payment cards, in turn, helps to simplify and secure payments throughout the entire supply chain. By 2021, it is projected that approximately four billion transactions paid by cheque will move to electronic payment.
The Flex Visa Card, which comes as both a virtual and physical corporate card – a key feature made available only to businesses in Singapore – is part of the all-in-one spend management solution. This solution enables easy reconciliation and integration into existing accounting tools and can help SMEs keep track of the payments that require reimbursement. Employers can empower employees to make payments via the corporate cards without prior approvals. This can be done by setting customisable parameters such as monthly amounts loaded to the cards, specific expenses (e.g. transportation, entertainment, bulk purchases) and more. All expenses will be captured using the Flex by Finaxar platform for easy reconciliation and seamless reimbursements, thus improving the efficiency for businesses.
“We are aware of the challenges faced by SMEs when applying for corporate cards from traditional banks. The requirements for businesses to gain access to credit facilities have always been challenging. Hence by offering the Flex Visa Card as part of our new unified spend management platform, we can extend this suite of solutions to businesses and collaborate with incumbent banks and financial institutions to level the playing field, given the rise of neobanks in this region,” Vihang Patel added.