COVID-19 Solidarity: How Fintechs Are Offering Support to Other Fintechs in Asiaby Fintech News Singapore May 2, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting businesses of all sizes and in all industries. Around the world, fintechs are showing solidarity by deploying resources to help their community navigate the storm.
Today, we look at some of the initiatives launched by fintechs in Asia to support their peers.
Razer commits US$50 million to support business partners
Global gaming hardware manufacturing company Razer has pledged to deploy up to US$50 million within 2020 to support its current and future business partners through the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fund will be deployed through three main support arms within the firm’s ecosystem: Razer Gold, Razer Fintech and zVentures, and will be split across these three pillars in the form of financial contributions, cashflow support and investments.
The firm has also committed to providing businesses with access to its ecosystem of hardware, software and services.
Singapore Fintech Association, Razer offer fintech firms up to S$2.1 million financing
Separately, Razer has partnered with the Singapore Fintech Association (SFA) to provide fintech companies in Singapore bridge financing, equity or equity-linked instruments ranging from US$100,000 to US$1.5 million (S$143,000 to S$2.1 million). The companies said the final sum would depend on a fintech company’s stage of growth and business requirements.
SFA and Razer said they also hope to “curate best-in-class fintech companies in Singapore through partnerships or investment.”
Axiata, Celcom and Boost launch RM 150 million fund for MSMEs
Malaysian telecommunication conglomerate Axiata Group, alongside its subsidiaries edotco and Axiata Digital have launched a RM 150 million cash fund to provide financial assistance to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
Though its subsidiary Axiata Digital, Axiata said it will offer shariah compliant micro-financing in the range of RM 1,000 to RM 10,000. Interest and payment terms will include suspended repayment requirements and concessional interest rates. Customers will be able to apply to a loan online through a quick 3-minute process. If approved, funding will be made available in 48 hours.
In addition, Axiata’s COVID-19 Assistance Program will also bundle micro- insurance coverage under Aspirasi to protect MSME proprietors and merchants with emergency income, accidental death and COVID-19 assistance.
New products and services
Fintechs and B2B software providers have also begun rolling out new products and services designed for businesses to navigate the storm.
In India, Mumbai-based startup Riskcovry has launched an innovative insurance in-a-box solution for COVID-19, targeting businesses that want to offer hospitalization and lost wages coverage.
In Indonesia, human resources software provider Catapa has introduced a package called Catapa at Home that includes various services, such as an online attendance feature, a leave and overtime management system, as well as payroll and annual income tax calculators. The suite is available to companies of all sizes for free for a period of 6 months.
Catering to new working conditions
In China, the COVID-19 outbreak has forced millions of workers to move online. These are now using tools including Alibaba’s DingTalk, Tencent’s WeChat Work and Meeting, ByteDance’s Feishu and Huawei’s WeLink for online workplace collaboration.
Over the past weeks, new features have been added to these tools for greater convenience and additional utility, including increased quota of video conference participants and call times, online health check-ins, and industry-specific solutions.
Ant Financial launches blockchain supply chain finance platform for SMEs
Ant Financial, the financial affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has launched a new blockchain-powered supply chain finance platform called Ant Duo-Chain.
Over the past months, Ant Duo-Chain has helped SME suppliers to apply for loans from banks with their receivables from large enterprises, helping them deal with financial constraints during the COVID-19 epidemic.
The platform makes use of blockchain technology to improve transparency and access to real-time information about companies, speeding up loan application processes.
Ant Financial has also launched the No-Contact Micro Loan campaign jointly with its digital banking affiliate MYbank, allowing merchants using the Alipay platform to apply for loans; reduced interest rates on MYbank; and initiated a campaign in partnership with All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce called Contactless Loans to support 10 million SMEs, individual businesses and farmers through their digital transformation.
Tencent launches new insurance products and cloud computing services
Tencent, the Internet giant that operates WeChat, has launched numerous to initiatives to support the business community.
WeSure, its insurance arm, is offering a suite of products, accessible within the WeChat Pay mobile platform, that covers those affected by the COVID-19. Additionally, Tencent is currently developing a so-called “international anti-COVID-19 service package,” which will consist of a bundle of cloud computing services including remote collaboration tools, systems to facilitate online medical consultation, and other products.
Waiving fees and offering discounts
But not all fintechs have the resources to donate millions of dollars to research, or develop a specially designed platform to cater to the needs of businesses impacted by COVID-19, and so, many are resorting to waiving their fees or offering discounts to help the community and make a contribution.
In Singapore, EngageRocket, which provides a people analytics platform that allows companies to gauge the effectiveness of their remote working systems, is offering its services for free until May 31. Horangi Cyber Security, another Singaporean startup, is providing its cybersecurity training solutions for free for six months. And Rapyd, a London-based provider of a fintech-as-a-service platform, has launched the Solidarity Programme to help accelerate the adoption of digital payments by Singapore businesses by waiving all fees on the first S$100,000 in processing volumes for all newly onboarded merchants from now until the end of June.
In India, Xebra, a business financial suite for SMEs operating in the B2B space, is offering a Free Forever plan for startups to help them better manage their resources in these tough times, and Airwallex, a Hong Kong-headquartered fintech unicorn specialized in cross-border payments, is waiving international fees for Australian and UK small businesses.