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CORRECTING and REPLACING: CardUp Launches Operations In Hong Kong And Announces Visa Partnership To Offer Businesses Instant Access To Business Credit At Competitive Rates

CORRECTING and REPLACING: CardUp Launches Operations In Hong Kong And Announces Visa Partnership To Offer Businesses Instant Access To Business Credit At Competitive Rates

The corrected release reads:

  • The payment platform will allow businesses in Hong Kong to make payments with credit cards in instances where the recipients do not accept card payments.
  • CardUp’s solution will help Hong Kong-based businesses maximise and digitise their cash flow, access flexible and competitively-priced capital during the current economic climate, whilst equipping businesses with the tools to automate their payables processes
  • CardUp is a registered Visa Business Payment Solution Provider (BPSP); this partnership enables customised pricing for Visa Commercial card holders at competitive rates


HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 4 December 2020 – CardUp, the digital credit card enablement platform, has launched their solution that enables local businesses to pay any non-card accepting recipients by credit card, even when cards are not accepted. This launch coincides with CardUp’s partnership with Visa as a registered Business Payment Solution Provider (BPSP) that enables Hong Kong-based businesses to maximise their cash flow by tapping onto existing credit card lines at customised rates.

As a Visa-registered BPSP, CardUp can help more businesses in Hong Kong tap onto their underutilised credit limits, allowing businesses to leverage their credit cards for payments at a competitive price and customised rate. To enable card payments in places where cards are not accepted, CardUp charges a processing fee.

“We are delighted to expand our services to businesses in Hong Kong, many of whom grappled both with cash flow problems and challenges digitising payables and receivables whilst finance teams work digitally in the new post-pandemic world. We saw an opportunity to help them with a more flexible digital business payment facility to enable their business continuity,” said Nicki Ramsay, CEO of CardUp. “By launching our platform in Hong Kong, we enable businesses here to tap onto existing credit card lines more easily to help them tide their cash flow during this uncertain time. Our collaboration with Visa allows us to double-down on this flexibility as our BPSP facility is competitively-priced, more convenient than using conventional credit lines and quicker as there is no need for applications or waiting times.”

A survey by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC) found that 42 percent of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and 24 percent of large corporations were concerned about their survivability amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic[1]. During this time, these businesses were particularly exposed to reduced short-term cash flow due to revenue losses. CardUp believes that its new B2B facility and its status as a registered Visa BPSP will help the businesses benefit from more flexible payment options to keep their businesses afloat during uncertain economic periods.

“Many businesses often think of a credit card as nothing more than a payment method. However, a business credit card can also double up as a planning and budgeting tool. Based on our research, Visa recognised that cash flow optimisation is one of the top pain points of Hong Kong SMEs,” said Maaike Steinebach, Visa General Manager, Hong Kong and Macau. “Our partnership with CardUp helps businesses extend their days of payable outstanding and optimise their working capital with their commercial cards, crucial under current business climate.”

As a registered Visa BPSP, CardUp provides the following payment facilities for both businesses and banking partners.


For businesses

  1. Enable B2B payments on credit cards. CardUp allows businesses to use their credit cards to pay business expenses to non-card accepting recipients, which includes payroll, supplier invoices, rent and more.
  2. Improve cash flow. Businesses can improve their cash flow by using CardUp’s platform to obtain up to almost two months of interest-free credit and early settlement discounts. This solution, coupled with competitive rates presented by their status as a Visa BPSP, presents an extremely cost-effective way for companies to access working capital. It is also much easier for them to obtain these funds, without any lengthy and cumbersome applications or heavy documentation required for loans.
  3. Digitise processes. CardUp provides businesses a digital interface where they can schedule recurring payments and monitor payment statuses all from one dashboard — allowing them to easily leverage data to track and reconcile payments. CardUp’s platform also equips businesses with invoice automation tools to digitise payables and receivables processes, helping finance teams work digitally and thrive in the new normal.
  4. Cost and time savings. Businesses enjoy additional cost savings through card rewards earned on these business expenses, as well as time and cost savings through the automation and consolidation of domestic and international payments on one platform.


For banking partners

  1. Obtain more customers and business growth prospects. Banks and payment networks can benefit from increased coverage, capturing incremental spend in non-card accepting sectors, as well as advance digitisation efforts. With over US$1 trillion still being spent by cheque in Hong Kong, this opens up opportunities in the cards sector as businesses are able to use their heavily underutilised credit limits for large business expenses previously not possible by card.


CardUp’s technology connects to accounting and ERP platforms, to provide businesses with seamless data flow and reporting. This provides a solution that enables any payment made by bank transfer or cheque to be shifted to cards — regardless of whether the end-recipient accepts card payments.

CardUp already collaborates with all major banks in the region such as Citi, DBS and UOB. Outside of Hong Kong, the company has already made its digital platform available in Singapore (where it first launched) and Malaysia and has managed hundreds of millions of dollars in payments today to vendors globally. The company is currently seeking opportunities to expand its digital platform across the region to give more businesses in the region and alternative, digital payment facility to better manage their cash flow.


About CardUp

CardUp is a credit card enablement platform that brings value to both individuals and businesses by improving the way they pay and get paid, access credit and manage payments.  

The company started by allowing any big expense previously made by bank transfer, cheque or cash to be shifted to card, even where cards are not accepted. Examples include rent to a landlord, insurance premiums, payroll, supplier invoices and more. CardUp has since gone on to launch merchant card solutions, card enablement APIs and payment automation tools that help SMEs save time and automate their finance processes

CardUp manages hundreds of millions of dollars in payment volume in the region today. The company continues to innovate in technology across business financing, payment automation, data insights and card rewards, to deliver their vision to unlock the benefits of card payments for everyone. As of 2020, CardUp operates in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. 

For more information, please visit:

Leap Into iShopChangi’s Happy Haulidays Specials Featuring Exclusive Discounts and Promotions

Leap Into iShopChangi’s Happy Haulidays Specials Featuring Exclusive Discounts and Promotions

Make this holiday season an unforgettable one with iShopChangi. Running until January 3, 2021, shoppers can save up to 60% on over 10,000 top-notch deals. Across stellar sitewide discounts, promotions and vouchers, find a duty-free bargain on everything from the latest electronics to festive wine and spirits.


SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 3 December 2020 – As the festive season kicks off for Black Friday, 12.12 and Boxing Day, shoppers have a chance to score some unbeatable deals. Never one to miss out on the action, e-commerce retailer iShopChangi is getting into the spirit of things, with the Happy Haulidays campaign offering sitewide promotions, flash deals and discounts that’ll make this holiday season one to remember.


Running until January 3, 2021, shoppers will discover exclusive savings of up to 60% on more than 10,000 deals, ranging from high-end electronics and premium beauty products to the perfect liquor to share with friends.


Soak Up The Holidays With Splendid Wine & Spirits


When it comes to celebrating the holidays with your loved ones, it never hurts to have a five-star drink on-hand. With iShopChangi, you won’t have a problem finding a delicious tipple, with a vast range of discounted premium brands and new arrivals offering endless Christmas cheer. Look out for our special wine and spirit flash vouchers using the code DRINKS10, offering an extra 10% off with no minimum spend, capped at $50.


Across brands like BAILEYS, TANQUERAY and SINGLETON, you can find a bargain no matter your drink of choice. Plus, there are a wealth of tempting bundle deals and gift packs, including a delicious pairing of Auchentoshan 21 Year Single Malt Whisky with Legent American Bourbon Whisky.


Find A Deal On The Latest Electronics


There’s no better time to stock up on the latest gaming, audio and fitness tech than during the festive season. If you’ve been eyeing an innovative device but haven’t been ready to commit, iShopChangi’s remarkably reduced prices might just be the incentive you need.


With a host of exclusive Christmas deals that are so good you might not want to give away your gift after all, you’ll find high-quality HUAWEI, SONY and NAKAMICHI headphones and speakers at exceptional prices. Alternatively, start the New Year with a bargain on a huge range of FITBIT products.


Secure Flash Vouchers & Promotional Codes


With holiday joy approaching fever pitch, iShopChangi is getting in the mood by offering shoppers an incredible array of promotions and discounts. This holiday season, make the most of iShopChangi’s tiered discount system to ensure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck.


All you have to do is spend S$100, S$250 or S$800 and apply the relevant code to save S$7, S$20 or S$88 respectively. Simply enter XMAS7, XMAS20 or XMAS88 when you’re ready to checkout! Plus, if you want the ideal bright and bubbly gift, redeem a vibrant tokidoki Kaiju premium for S$6.90. Just spend a minimum of S$100 at iShopChangi to snag these colourful items for a great price.


Make this festive season the best one yet with iShopChangi’s unmissable discounts, promotions and bundle deals. See the latest Happy Hauliday offering with iShopChangi on Facebook to save this Christmas and New Year!

About Changi Airport Group

Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd (CAG) ( was formed on 16 June 2009 and the corporatisation of Singapore Changi Airport (IATA: SIN, ICAO: WSSS) followed on 1 July 2009.  As the company managing Changi Airport, CAG undertakes key functions focusing on airport operations and management, air hub development, commercial activities and airport emergency services.  CAG also manages Seletar Airport (IATA: XSP, ICAO: WSSL) and through its subsidiary Changi Airports International, invests in and manages foreign airports. 


About iShopChangi

iShopChangi was launched in 2013 as an extension of Changi Airport’s promise to deliver greater comfort and convenience to travellers in its suite of airport retail offerings. Passengers can browse and purchase tax- and duty-free products across all terminals between 30 days to 12 hours pre-flight on the e-store — and choose to collect their items at Collection Centres within departure, upon arrival or have them delivered free in Singapore. Providing easy access to over 30,000 products across 900 brands and exclusives such as Changi First product launches, the site has since received global recognition with its award for Best Website — Retail Customer Facing at The Moodies: the Airport and Travel Retail Digital Media Awards 2018. In early 2020, the e-commerce store started to retail a selection tax- and duty-absorbed products to Singapore-based residents without the need to fly.

Four Startups Win Inaugural Microsoft Emerge X Pitch Competition in APAC

Four Startups Win Inaugural Microsoft Emerge X Pitch Competition in APAC

The Emerge X Program sits within Microsoft’s Highway to a 100 Unicorns initiative, which discovers and nurtures high potential technology startups & grows the ecosystem in emerging markets across APAC


SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 3 December 2020 – Four startups from Vietnam, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Singapore are winners at Microsoft’s inaugural Emerge X Regional Pitching Competition in Asia Pacific: 


1.     Abivin from Vietnam: An AI-powered platform that optimizes supply chains across multiple sectors by solving the vehicle routing problem 

2.     Lifetrack Medical Systems in the Philippines and Singapore: A cloud-based platform that provides affordable access to medical imaging in emerging markets 

3.     Agrithmics from Sri Lanka: A cloud-based solution that enriches the agri-industry by digitizing the farm to factory supply chain and connecting farmers and buyers 

4.     Milky Way AI, from Singapore: An AI-powered smart retail solution leveraging image recognition technology to help retailers manage shelf inventory and maximize sales 


“For Asia Pacific to remain at the forefront of global transformation, it takes disruptors, visionaries, and futurists. There are no limits to what people can achieve when the world and technology reflect the diversity of everyone who uses it. Which is why at Microsoft, we build technology so that others can create technology, and to be successful we all need to come together,” said Andrea Della Mattea, President, Microsoft Asia Pacific. “Through the Highway to a 100 Unicorns and our Emerge X program, we aim to help startups on the road to innovation, where they can meet unarticulated needs of the industry and help businesses become resilient.” 


Growing the Startup Ecosystem in Emerging Markets across APAC 

The Emerge X Program is part of Microsoft’s Highway to a 100 Unicorns initiative, which was launched in Asia Pacific in October 2020 after overwhelming success in India. Microsoft engaged with more than 70 prominent startup ecosystem players and governments across 16 countries, who then nominated more than 300 of their most promising for the program.  


The 16 countries engaged in the program are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam. 


79 startups were selected to join the Microsoft Emerge X program. As an Emerge X startup, they will participate in a year-long mentorship program with Microsoft for Startups which is designed to help them scale and accelerate their growth. They will also receive GitHub and Azure credits, have the opportunity to attend a Founder Bootcamp for 3 days, gain access to enterprise clients globally through Microsoft’s unique co-sell program, and interact with Microsoft experts and industry stalwarts.  


Of these, 21 of the Emerge X startups pitched their ideas at the Emerge X Regional Pitching Competition, held at the Philippine Startup Week 2020, with Abivin, Lifetrack Medical Systems, Agrithmics and Milky Way AI identified as the top startups in the whole region. They were selected by a jury of leading investors and startup ecosystem leaders, including investors from BOV Capital, Cradle, Monk’s Hill Ventures, Movac, M12, SBK Tech Ventures, Sequoia, Vista Consulting Group, and 54i Ventures, and ecosystem leaders from GitHub and Target Accelerator. 


Details on the top four startups can be found in APPENDIX A, and a full list of Emerge X startups and jury members at the Philippine Startup Week 2020 can be found in APPENDIX B. 


Highway to a 100 Unicorns at the Singapore Week of Innovation & Technology 2020 

Microsoft’s Highway to a 100 Unicorns Regional APAC Event will be held at Singapore Week of Innovation & Technology (SWITCH) 2020 on 9 December, from 2pm-4pm. At that session, industry leaders from Microsoft and their partners will discuss the opportunities ahead and how to manage the challenges startups could face in APAC. The top four Emerge X startups will share their founding stories and how they have leveraged technology to solve some of the key challenges faced by business owners across different industry sectors. 


Said Peter Ong, Chairman of Enterprise Singapore, who is organizing SWITCH, “We are happy that Microsoft has chosen to launch its inaugural Highway to a 100 Unicorns Regional APAC Event in Singapore. Culminating at SWITCH after its mentorship program and pitching competition, we see great synergies in bringing together the region’s most innovative and ambitious startups to network with our diverse line-up of speakers and participants. We look forward to strengthening our partnership with Microsoft to provide a vibrant and conducive ecosystem for the development of innovative startups.” 



Abivin: Optimizing Supply Chains  

Established in 2015, Abivin’s AI-powered solution helps manufacturers, distributors, retailers, transporters, logistics service providers and container freight operators tackle the challenges of logistics execution and solve the vehicle routing problem, resulting in up to 30% savings. 


“When we applied to be a part of the Highway to a 100 Unicorns, our objective was to connect and learn from Microsoft, industry experts and other startups across the Asia Pacific. It has been a valuable experience and we are both surprised and proud to be selected as one of the top four startups in the region,” said Cassie Nguyen, COO and Co-founder, Abivin. 


Lifetrack Medical Systems: Providing Affordable Access to Medical Imaging 

Lifetrack Medical Systems was started in 2011 to rethink how radiology software could be distributed and made accessible, especially in the challenging conditions of emerging markets. Via its LifeSys™ platform, over 1.7 million patients in 12 different countries have been diagnosed.  


“Microsoft’s Emerge X competition has given Lifetrack a platform to share the work we have been doing to improve affordable access to medical imaging with our partners and stakeholders around the world. We are excited to join the Highway to a 100 Unicorns and looking forward to partnering with Microsoft to drive innovation forward in the region for the benefit of all,” said Dr. Eric Schulze, CEO and Founder, Lifetrack Medical Systems. 


Agrithmics: Digitizing the Farm to Factory Supply Chain 

Agrithmics was founded in 2016 to enrich the agri-industry in Sri Lanka and connect small hold farmers to agri-buyers, eliminating pilferage by middlemen and providing more access to cash and credit. More than 40,000 registered farmers are now using AgriX — an IOT-enabled and cloud-based procurement solution — and Agri-Pay Transaction Switch to conduct their transactions, with more than100 million kg of raw tea leaves transacted via its platforms in the last three years. 


“The journey with Emerge X has been fantastic for us. It was a great opportunity to meet several regional startups and learn about their innovative ideas. Agrithmics is excited to be part of the Highway to a 100 Unicorns and I am confident we will be able to reach greater heights with Microsoft,” said Prashanth Premakumar, CEO and Founder, Agrithmics. 


Milky Way AI: Helping Retailers Maximize Sales 

Founded in 2019, Milky Way AI’s Instashelf platform utilizes image recognition technology to help retailers and brands better manage shelf inventory by automating the stocktaking process. It is used by major retailers and brands in four countries and has helped merchandising teams increase their in-store productivity. 


“We are thrilled to be partnering with Microsoft in digitizing physical retail with Computer Vision and AI, delivering innovative omni-channel customer experiences and augmenting the largest workforce globally,” said Eunice Wong, CEO and Co-founder, Milky Way AI. 


Emerge X Program Startups 

Startups in italics participated in the Emerge X Regional Pitching Competition at PH Startup Week 2020 


  • Bangladesh: Alice Labs, Loop, PriyoShop, 
  • Bhutan: DrukRide, One Click Shop  
  • Cambodia: Peth Yoeung 
  • Indonesia: Crowde, GREDU,, Konvergen AINeurosensum, Ritase, Tjetak 
  • Malaysia: Alpha Red Services, Betacard, Leaderonomics Digital, Naluri Hidup, OrangeFIN Asia, SalesCandy, Setel, Softinn Solutions, Soft Solvers Solutions,, 
  • Maldives: FahiPay 
  • Myanmar: Better HR,, Karzo Co., Village Link  
  • Nepal: Digital Age Nepal, The Secured ID, Tootle  
  • New Zealand: Book Me Bob, Projectworks, Showcase Workshop, Storbie, 
  • Philippines: Aiah, ChatGenie, Edukasyon, Expedock, Frontlearners Inc., Investagrams, Lifetrack Medical Systems, Omnirio, Packetworx, Rumarocket, Tangere, Qwikwire 
  • Singapore: Accredify, Bambu, JobKred, Lifetrack Medical SystemsMilky Way AI,, Tookitaki, Wiz.Ai 
  • Sri Lanka: Agrithmics, DirectPay, Eimsky, Enhanzer, InsureMe, OMAK, Roar Global, SIXER VIDEO 
  • Thailand: AltoTech, Bizcuit, ENRES, FilmDoo, Finema, Jabjai Corporation, PUUN Intelligent, Ricult, Robolingo, Vonder, ZTRUS 
  • Vietnam: Abivin,, House3D 


Emerge X Regional Pitching Competition Jury  

  • Prajeeth Balasubramaniam, Managing General Partner, BOV Capital    
  • Kishan Nadarajah, Principal, BOV Capital  
  • Juliana Jan, Chief Investment Officer, Cradle  
  • Eunice Wong, Investment Associate, Monk’s Hill Ventures 
  • Cassie McAdams, Investment & Community Manager, Movac 
  • Abhi K, Partner, India Head, M12 
  • Farhan Rahman, Strategic Development Specialist, SBK Tech Ventures 
  • Pieter Kemps, Principal, Sequoia 
  • Bala Girisaballa, Managing Director, APAC, Vista Consulting Group   
  • Dipta Shah, Founding Partner, 54i Ventures 
  • Maneesh Sharma, Country Manager, GitHub  
  • Ravi Kanniganti, Director & Head, Target Accelerator India 

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.  


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