CardUp Allows You to Pay Your Rent, Tax, Insurance and More With Your Credit Card – and Earn Additional Rewardsby Fintech News Singapore June 19, 2020
COVID-19 continues to spread in Singapore with 257 new reported cases, bringing the national total to 41,473, including 26 deaths, according to latest data from the Ministry of Health, dated June 18.
As a result of the pandemic and ensuing economic turmoil, the Singapore economy is expected to shrink between 4% and 7% this year.
To do our part in supporting the fintech startup community in these uncertain times, the Fintech News Network is covering each week a promising Singaporean fintech startup that deserve the spotlight. So far, we’ve covered startups such as Koku, a business-to-business (B2B) foreign exchange tech provider, Silent Eight, a regtech startup that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to fight financial crime, and Endowus, a robo-advisor for Central Provident Fund (CPF).
For this week, we look at CardUp, a credit card enablement platform.
CardUp: credit card payments for big ticket items made possible
Launched in 2016, CardUp is platform that enables the payment or collection of big expenses using credit card in places and for transaction types where cards are not accepted today such rent payment, tax, invoices, payroll and more.
Using CardUp, individuals and businesses can move these big payments from cash, cheque or bank transfers to their credit cards, and earn credit card rewards on these payments.
CardUp essentially works as a middleman in customers’ transactions, where instead of having a user directly transfer the funds from their own account to a vendor’s, the customer pays CardUp via credit card.
CardUp then transfers the funds via bank transfer to the designated merchant/recipient and takes a fee that ranges anywhere between 2.25% to 3.3% based on the card’s payment network (Visa, MasterCard or American Express) and whether that card was issued in Singapore or not.
A normal transaction usually takes three business days to be processed but users can request a Next Day payment, which is processed in the next business day and costs an extra 0.3% on top of the transaction fee. In addition to one time transactions, user can also set up recurring payments.
To use CardUp, users simply need to sign up for an account, enter the details of their preferred credit card, or cards, and once the account is ready, can start making and scheduling payments.
CardUp cannot be used for all payment types, but the following are accepted: education and tuition fees, rent, property and income tax, insurance, condominium fees, and season parking.
One of the main benefits of using CardUp is the extra rewards. By using CardUp, customers are able to increase their reward earnings, points accumulations and cashback benefits, regardless of their credit card’s reward structure while paying the same bills they’ve always paid.
Another benefit is that vendors and recipients do not need to sign up to be paid, though CardUp does provide a business offering for vendors and businesses looking to use the service to make credit card transactions and earn rewards.
In Singapore, CardUp claims it manages over hundreds of millions of dollars in payment volume.
The startup has received numerous accolades and was most recently shortlisted for the Singapore Fintech Festival Awards 2018, and in 2016, it was a finalist in the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Global Hackcelerator. CardUp was selected for MasterCard Start Path program in 2017, and was part of the inaugural class of The FinLab, a Singapore-based fintech accelerator run by United Overseas Bank, in 2016.
CardUp is backed by well-known global venture capital (VC) firms including Sequoia Capital and SeedPlus.
Avid credit card users
Singaporeans are avid credit card users with three quarters (73%) of Singaporeans owning at least one credit card, over half (56%) owning more than one, and 10% holding six or more, according to a 2019 YouGov Omnibus research.
One in six (16%) use their credit cards daily, while over a third (37%) do so several times a week, the research found.
Among the most common purchases Singaporeans make using their credit cards, consumers cited travel tickets (81%), followed by booking accommodation (76%), food and beverages (75%), clothing (72%), and electronic devices (71%).