Aspire, the all-in-one finance operating system for growing businesses in Southeast Asia, has joined forces with regtech provider Know Your Customer to safely facilitate access to its financial products to underserved SMEs and entrepreneurs in the region.
It is estimated that there are 70 million micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Southeast Asia today that employ over 140 million people and account for 99 per cent of all businesses in the region. Moreover, thousands of new start-ups and SMEs are registered every day: recent research has revealed that an average of nine per cent of all entities present in company registries were incorporated in the course of the last year for which data was available.
These companies are often in urgent need of financial services such as business accounts, loans, credit cards, and a platform to manage their receivables and payables. Despite this, access to viable financial products remains difficult for many of them due to the challenges of financial institutions looking to verify these companies’ shareholding structures. In these instances, having real-time access to company registries is essential for any FI looking to serve new companies not yet present in conventional KYC databases.
By working together, Know Your Customer and Aspire will now be able to capture this fast-growing demand in full compliance with local and international regulatory requirements.
The new partnership will enhance Aspire’s ability to digitise and streamline the crucial phase of corporate onboarding for SMEs, entrepreneurs and corporate clients across the whole region through Know Your Customer’s digital solutions and unmatched coverage of real-time registry connections in APAC and globally.
Founded in 2018 to provide working capital loans for small to medium-sized businesses, Aspire now offers a portfolio of services to over 10,000 businesses across the region, including multi-currency accounts and cards, expense management, payable management, and receivable management solutions – all in one account.
Know Your Customer is an award-winning regulatory technology (regtech) company specialised in modular compliance solutions which enable businesses to build the corporate onboarding process that best fits their unique needs. The company recently announced the expansion of its real-time coverage to 500+ company registries across 123 countries worldwide, officially becoming the No. 1 KYB provider in the industry.
Tarini Ponniah, head of compliance of Aspire, commented, “At Aspire, we are always looking for ways to support our customers, and make sure they have a seamless onboarding journey with us. We strive to make alliances with companies that share the same vision and can assist us in providing our services in full compliance with the applicable regulations. Know Your Customer’s regtech solution has helped us to achieve this incredible milestone in a very short time span.”
Claus Christensen, CEO and co-founder of Know Your Customer, added, “Aspire has quickly become a powerful force in the APAC fintech space and we are delighted to be playing such a strategic part in their current and future growth. I strongly believe that building solid synergies between disruptive fintechs and innovative regtech providers is key to drive the whole industry forward and this partnership is a perfect example of two innovative companies coming together to meet a pressing market need. We look forward to supporting Aspire’s business growth through our modular solution and unparalleled coverage of real-time registry connections globally.”
Kevin Ryan, director of South-East Asia of Enterprise Ireland added, “The Government of Ireland, via Enterprise Ireland are proud to support innovative companies like Know Your Customer on their expansion. The signing today signifies their commitment to raising the bar for regtech in Southeast Asia and we congratulate them wholeheartedly.”