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% 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 9% 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 & 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."
The partnership announcement was officially commemorated by a signing ceremony held in Singapore on the occasion of the visit of Micheál Martin, Taoiseach of Ireland (Prime Minister) on 22 July 2022.
Kevin Ryan, Director 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. "
*New Company Registered Yearly, Know Your Customer, March-2022: https://kycl.io/34HwDgQ
About Know Your Customer
Know Your Customer is an award-winning RegTech company specialised in next generation digital onboarding solutions for financial institutions and regulated organisations worldwide. By providing a single source of truth, Know Your Customer enables clients to reduce AML risk, streamline processes through agile automation, improve data accuracy through live connections to company registries, and comply with internal, board and regulatory reporting demands. The result is an acceleration in the onboarding time of new corporate clients from an industry average of 26 days to a few hours, reducing compliance manual work by up 85%.
With offices in Singapore, Dublin, Hong Kong, London, and Shanghai, Know Your Customer has established a global presence and a reputation for excellence. Our customer list spans across 11 verticals - including banking, FinTech, insurance, payments, real estate, asset management, legal firms - and 18 jurisdictions.
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Aspire is the all-in-one finance operating system for growing businesses. The company serves over 10,000 startups and SMEs in Southeast Asia, helping them save time and money with multi-currency accounts and cards, expense management, payable management, and receivable management solutions - all in one account. Headquartered in Singapore, Aspire has over 400 employees across four countries, and is backed by some of the world's best VCs, including Sequoia and Y-Combinator.