The Complete Guide to Pay Cards: What is a Pay Card and How is it Different from Credit Cards?

Many people think that credit cards and debit cards are the only type of plastic payment methods available, but there is actually another option: pay cards. In this complete guide, we will explain everything you need to know about pay cards – what they are, how they work, and the advantages and disadvantages of using them.

What is a pay card?

A pay card is a type of debit card that allows employees to access their wages without having to open a bank account. Pay cards are an alternative to traditional payroll methods, such as paper checks or direct deposit.

Pay cards are becoming increasingly popular as more and more employers look for ways to reduce costs and simplify payroll. For employees, pay cards offer a convenient way to access their wages without having to worry about carrying cash or making sure they have enough money in their bank account.

Pay cards can be used anywhere that accepts debit cards, including ATM machines, stores, and online retailers. Employees can use their pay cards to make purchases, withdraw cash, or pay bills.

If you’re considering using a pay card for your employees, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Make sure you choose a reputable provider and read the terms and conditions carefully. You’ll also want to make sure you educate your employees on how to use the pay card and what fees may be associated with it.

How is a pay card different from credit cards?

There are a few key ways that pay cards differ from credit cards. For one, pay cards are not connected to your credit score. This means that if you miss a payment or two, your card issuer cannot report this to the credit bureaus and negatively impact your score. Additionally, pay cards typically have much lower credit limits than traditional credit cards. This can be helpful if you’re trying to avoid debt or build up your credit history. Finally, most pay cards charge annual fees, while many credit cards do not.

The benefits of using a pay card

If you’re looking for a way to make payments that is more convenient than using cash or a check, but you don’t want to use a credit card, then a pay card may be a good option for you. Pay cards are becoming increasingly popular, especially among people who don’t have access to a traditional bank account. Here are some of the benefits of using a pay card:

1. Convenience – Pay cards can be used anywhere that accepts debit cards, so you can use them to make purchases online, over the phone, or in person. You can also use them to withdraw cash from ATMs.

2. No credit check – Because pay cards are not credit products, there is no credit check required in order to get one. This makes them a good option for people with bad credit or no credit history.

3. Security – Pay cards are more secure than carrying around cash, and if your card is lost or stolen, you can usually get it replaced quickly and easily.

4. Rewards – Some pay cards offer rewards programs, so you can earn points or cash back on your purchases.

How to use a pay card?

If you’re like most people, you probably use a credit or debit card for most of your purchases. But what is a pay card? A pay card is a special type of card that can be used to make payments on a regular basis, such as for rent or utilities. Unlike credit cards, pay cards are not linked to a line of credit and can’t be used to make purchases. Instead, they work like prepaid debit cards, with the funds being deducted from your account each time you make a payment.

If you’re thinking about using a pay card, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, make sure you understand how the card works and what fees may be associated with it. Second, always keep your pay card in a safe place and never give it to anyone else. Finally, remember that your pay card is not a credit card, so it can’t be used to make purchases or withdrawals.

The best pay cards on the market

When it comes to finding the best pay cards on the market, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you need to make sure that the card you select offers a competitive interest rate. Second, you need to find a card that doesn’t have any hidden fees or charges. And finally, you need to find a card that will work with your budget and spending habits.

To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the best pay cards on the market. We’ve looked at a variety of factors, including interest rates, fees, and features, to come up with this list. So whether you’re looking for a pay card with no annual fee or one that offers rewards points, we’ve got you covered.

FAQs about pay cards

1. What is a pay card?
A pay card is a type of prepaid card that can be used to make purchases or withdraw cash. Unlike credit cards, you can only spend the money that you have loaded onto the card in advance. This makes them a great budgeting tool for people who want to avoid debt.

2. How is a pay card different from a credit card?
The biggest difference between a pay card and a credit card is that with a pay card you can only spend the money that you have loaded onto the card in advance. Credit cards allow you to borrow money up to a limit and then pay back that money over time with interest.

3. How do I get a pay card?
You can purchase a pay card from most major banks and financial institutions. Alternatively, there are many online providers that offer pay cards. Simply compare the features and fees of different providers to find the best option for you.

4. What are the benefits of using a pay card?
There are many benefits of using a pay card, including: avoiding debt, building credit, controlling spending, and convenience. Pay cards can also be used internationally and offer protection against fraud and identity theft.

The Complete Guide to Credit Card Disputes: What You Need to Know

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give much thought to your credit card issuer until you have a problem. But when disputes arise, it’s important to know your rights and how to protect yourself. In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about credit card disputes, from the basics of chargebacks to your rights under the Fair Credit Billing Act.

What is a credit card dispute?

If you’re like most people, you probably use your credit card on a daily basis. Whether you’re using it for purchases at the store or for paying bills online, your credit card is a convenient way to pay for the things you need. But what happens if you have a dispute with a merchant? What is a credit card dispute, and how can you resolve one?

A credit card dispute is a disagreement between you and a merchant over a charge that has been made to your credit card. It can happen for a variety of reasons, but most often it occurs when you feel that you have been charged an incorrect amount, or when you have been charged for something that you did not purchase.

If you have a dispute with a merchant, the first thing you should do is contact the merchant directly and try to resolve the issue. If you are unable to reach an agreement, you can then file a dispute with your credit card issuer. Most issuers have an online form that you can fill out, or you can call customer service to begin the process.

Be sure to have all of your documentation ready when you contact your issuer, as they will likely ask for receipts or other proof of purchase. Once the issuer

How to file a credit card dispute?

If you have a problem with a purchase made with your credit card, you can file a dispute with your card issuer. This is also called a chargeback. You’ll need to contact your card issuer and let them know that you want to file a dispute. They may have a specific form that you need to fill out.

Be sure to include as much information as possible about the purchase, including the date, the amount, and what went wrong. You’ll also need to include any supporting documentation, like receipts or emails. Once you’ve submitted your dispute, the card issuer will investigate and make a decision.

If the card issuer decides in your favor, they will reverse the charges and refund your money. If they decide against you, you’ll still be responsible for paying the bill.

Filing a credit card dispute can be a hassle, but it’s worth it if you have a valid problem with a purchase. Be sure to gather all the necessary information and documentation before you contact your card issuer.

What happens after you file a credit card dispute?

If you’ve filed a credit card dispute, the next step is to wait for the issuer to investigate your claim. This process can take up to 30 days, but usually takes around two weeks. Once the issuer has looked into your dispute, they’ll either refund your money or send you a written explanation of why they’ve decided not to refund your purchase. If you’re not satisfied with the issuer’s decision, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

How to win a credit card dispute?

If you’re in the market for a new credit card, you may be wondering about disputes. What are they? How do you win one? Do they even happen anymore?

Here’s everything you need to know about credit card disputes, from how to avoid them to what to do if you find yourself in the middle of one.

What is a credit card dispute?

A credit card dispute is when a customer and a merchant disagree about a charge on a credit card. This can happen for a number of reasons, but the most common is when a customer feels like they were charged for something they didn’t purchase, or when the quality of the product or service was not as expected.

In order to file a dispute with your credit card company, you will need to provide them with documentation supporting your claim. This can include receipts, invoices, or any other correspondence between you and the merchant. Once the credit card company receives your dispute, they will open an investigation.

How long does a credit card dispute take?

The length of time it takes to resolve a credit card dispute depends on the complexity of the case and the cooperation of both parties involved. Generally speaking, most disputes are

Conclusion

If you’ve been the victim of credit card fraud or billing errors, don’t despair — you have options. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can dispute the charges with your credit card issuer and get the problem resolved quickly and efficiently. And if all else fails, you can always file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to get help from an impartial third party. So don’t let credit card disputes overwhelm you — arm yourself with knowledge and take action to get the resolution you deserve.

How Brex Card’s Ecommerce Solution is Revolutionizing the Future of Online Shopping

Online shoppers are used to the convenience of being able to purchase items with a few clicks. But what if there was an even easier way to shop online?

Enter Brex Card, the ecommerce solution that is revolutionizing the future of online shopping. With Brex Card, all you need is your phone and you can make purchases anywhere, anytime.

What’s even more amazing is that Brex Card is completely free to use. No hidden fees or catches – just pure convenience at your fingertips.

What is Brex Card?

Brex Card is a new ecommerce solution that is revolutionizing the future of online shopping. With Brex Card, you can now shop online without having to worry about your credit card information being stolen or your personal information being compromised. With Brex Card, you can also get cash back on all of your purchases, which means that you can save money on your online shopping trips.

How does Brex Card work?

Brex Card is a new ecommerce solution that allows businesses to accept credit and debit cards without the high fees typically associated with them. This is done by Brex Card partnering with major financial institutions to offer lower rates to businesses. In addition, Brex Card also offers a number of other features that make it an attractive option for businesses, such as fraud protection and chargeback protection.

The benefits of using Brex Card for online shopping

There are many benefits of using Brex Card for online shopping. Brex Card is a new way to shop that is revolutionizing the future of online shopping. With Brex Card, you can shop anywhere, anytime, and get the best deals on the products you love. Here are some of the benefits of using Brex Card for online shopping:

1. Get the best deals on the products you love: With Brex Card, you can get the best deals on the products you love. You can find great discounts on top brands and products that you love.

2. Shop anywhere, anytime: With Brex Card, you can shop anywhere, anytime. You can shop from your home, office, or even on the go. With Brex Card, there are no boundaries to where you can shop.

3. Save time and money: With Brex Card, you can save time and money. You don’t have to waste time driving to a store or standing in line. With Brex Card, you can shop quickly and easily from your computer or mobile device.

4. Get more rewards: With Brex Card, you can get more rewards. You can earn points for every purchase you

How to use Brex Card for online shopping?

Most people are familiar with using credit cards for online shopping. However, Brex Card is revolutionizing the way that people shop online by providing an ecommerce solution that is specifically designed for businesses. With Brex Card, businesses can get access to financing, which allows them to make purchases without having to worry about cash flow. Additionally, Brex Card provides businesses with insights into their spending, so they can make more informed decisions about where to allocate their resources.

Overall, Brex Card is changing the landscape of online shopping by making it easier and more affordable for businesses to make purchases. If you’re a business owner, be sure to check out Brex Card’s ecommerce solution – it just might be the game-changer you’ve been looking for!

The future of online shopping with Brex Card

If you’re looking for a revolutionary ecommerce solution that will change the way you shop online, look no further than Brex Card. With Brex Card, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of traditional credit cards, without any of the hassle. With our unique ecommerce platform, you’ll be able to shop with confidence, knowing that your personal and financial information is always safe and secure. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about overspending or being charged hidden fees. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for Brex Card today and start enjoying the future of online shopping!

7 Incredible Benefits of Small Business Credit Cards For Your Business

Business credit cards can offer your small business a number of incredible benefits, from simplifying your finances to providing valuable rewards and perks. In this article, we’ll explore seven of the top advantages that small business credit cards can provide.

What is a small business credit card?

1. A small business credit card is a type of credit card specifically designed for businesses. It offers many of the same benefits as a personal credit card, but with some additional features that can be helpful for businesses.

2. One of the main benefits of a small business credit card is that it can help you manage your business expenses. With a small business credit card, you can keep track of all of your business expenses in one place. This can be very helpful when it comes time to do your taxes or track your spending.

3. Another benefit of a small business credit card is that it can help you build your business credit history. When you use a small business credit card and make your payments on time, it will help to build your business credit history. This can be very helpful if you ever need to take out a loan for your business or get other types of financing.

4. Finally, a small business credit card can also offer some perks and rewards that can be very beneficial for businesses. Many small business credit cards offer cash back or points rewards that can be used for things like travel, office supplies, or even advertising. These rewards can save you money and help your business in the long run.

How can a small business credit card benefit your business?

A small business credit card can benefit your business in many ways. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it can help you manage your business finances by giving you access to a line of credit. This can be helpful in times of need, such as when you need to make a large purchase or pay for unexpected expenses.

Another benefit of a small business credit card is that it can help you build your business credit history. This can be helpful if you ever need to take out a loan for your business in the future. Having a good business credit history will make it easier to get approved for a loan and may even help you get a lower interest rate.

Lastly, using a small business credit card can help you take advantage of rewards and perks. Many cards offer rewards like cash back or points that can be redeemed for travel or other purchases. Some cards also come with perks like extended warranty protection or free shipping. These benefits can save you money and help your business run more smoothly.

Overall, there are many benefits to using a small business credit card. If you have a business, it may be worth considering getting one to help manage your finances, build your credit history, and take advantage of rewards and perks.

What are the best small business credit cards?

There are a few different factors to consider when choosing the best small business credit card for your needs. The first is the type of rewards that you want. Some cards offer cash back, while others offer points that can be redeemed for travel or other perks. There are also cards that offer special financing options for small businesses.

Another factor to consider is the interest rate. Some cards have introductory rates that can save you money on your balance if you pay it off within a certain time frame. Others have lower ongoing rates that can save you money over time.

You’ll also want to consider the fees associated with the card. Some cards have annual fees, while others have no annual fee. You’ll want to choose a card that has low fees so you can save money on your overall costs.

Finally, you’ll want to consider the customer service and support offered by the credit card company. You’ll want to choose a company that offers good customer service in case you have any problems with your account.

Overall, there are a few different factors to consider when choosing the best small business credit card for your needs. By taking all of these factors into consideration, you can choose the best card for your business.

How to use a small business credit card wisely?

1. Use a small business credit card to buy only what you need for your business. Don’t use it for personal expenses.

2. Always pay your bill on time. This will help you avoid late fees and interest charges.

3. Keep track of your spending. This will help you stay within your budget and avoid overspending.

4. Use a rewards credit card to get points or cash back on your purchases. This can help you save money on business expenses.

5. Shop around for the best credit card for your needs. There are many different cards available, so find one that offers the features and benefits that are most important to you.

Conclusion

If you own a small business, then you should definitely consider getting a small business credit card. There are so many incredible benefits that come with using one of these cards, including the ability to earn rewards, get cash back, and build your business credit. Not to mention, having a small business credit card can also help you keep track of your expenses and manage your finances more effectively. So if you’re looking for ways to save money and improve your business, be sure to check out the amazing benefits of small business credit cards.

5 Quirky Credit Cards That Actually Exist

From cards that give you cash back in the form of puppies to ones that turn your spending into investments, there are some pretty quirky credit cards out there. In this article, we’ll take a look at five of the most unique options currently available.

The SaksFirst Credit Card

The SaksFirst Credit Card from Saks Fifth Avenue is a store credit card that offers cardholders many perks, including earn points for every dollar spent, free shipping on all online purchases, and exclusive sales and events. However, the card also has a few quirks that make it unique. For example, the card’s APR is 29.99%, which is higher than most other store cards. Additionally, the card has a $25 annual fee. However, despite these quirks, the SaksFirst Credit Card remains a popular choice for shoppers at Saks Fifth Avenue.

The Disney Premier Visa Card

The Disney Premier Visa Card is a credit card that allows cardholders to earn rewards toward Disney vacations. Cardholders can earn 2% in rewards on gas and grocery purchases, and 1% on all other purchases. They also receive a $200 statement credit after spending $500 on the card within the first three months.

Cardholders can use their rewards toward Disney vacation packages, hotels, restaurants, and more. They can also get special financing on Disney vacation packages. The Disney Premier Visa Card has no annual fee.

The Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

The Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi is a great option for people who love to shop at Costco. This card offers 4% cash back on gas, 3% cash back on travel and dining, and 2% cash back on all other purchases. There is no annual fee for this card, and it comes with a wide range of benefits, including 24/7 customer service, fraud protection, and extended warranty protection.

If you’re looking for a quirky credit card that actually exists, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi is a great option. This card offers great rewards and benefits, and it’s perfect for people who love to shop at Costco.

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is a credit card that offers rewards for Amazon Prime members. cardholders earn 5% back on Amazon.com purchases, 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases. There is no annual fee for this card.

This card is available toAmazon Prime members who have an eligible Amazon.com account in good standing. To be eligible for this card, you must also have a U.S. mailing address and be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident of the United States.

If you are not an Amazon Prime member, you can still apply for this card, but you will only earn 3% back on Amazon.com purchases, 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases.

The Starbucks Rewards Visa Prepaid Card

The Starbucks Rewards Visa Prepaid Card is a credit card that allows you to earn Starbucks rewards with every purchase you make. You can use your rewards to get free drinks, food, and more at Starbucks locations. The card also comes with some great benefits, like no fees and no interest charges.

If you’re a coffee lover, the Starbucks Rewards Visa Prepaid Card is definitely worth considering. With this card, you’ll be able to enjoy all of your favorite Starbucks drinks and treats while earning rewards that can be used for freebies and discounts.

How to Choose the Right Credit Card for You?

With so many credit cards on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a credit card:

-What are your spending habits? Do you tend to spend more on groceries or travel? There are cards that offer cash back or rewards points for specific categories of spending.

-What is your credit score? If you have good credit, you may be able to qualify for a card with low interest rates and generous rewards. If your credit is not as good, you may want to look for a card with no annual fee and a lower interest rate.

-What are the fees associated with the card? Some cards have annual fees, while others have balance transfer fees or foreign transaction fees. Make sure you understand all the fees before you choose a card.

By considering these factors, you can narrow down the field and choose the right credit card for your needs.

Conclusion

From cards that give you cash back in the form of chickens, to cards that turn your spending into investments, there are some pretty quirky credit card options out there. And while not everyone will want to use a chicken-themed credit card, it’s nice to know that there are unique options available for those who do. So if you’re looking for a credit card that’s a little out of the ordinary, be sure to check out these five quirky credit cards.

How ARISTOLEX™ Technology Can Help you Avoid Coventry Problems

HOOQ was launched in 2015 by Singtel and minority investors Warner Brothers and Sony Pictures Television. But like a parent pulling financial support for an errant teenager, Singtel no longer had the appetite to bankroll HOOQ and stem losses for a business that failed to win significant market share across Southeast Asia.

“HOOQ has not been able to grow sufficiently to provide sustainable returns nor cover escalating content costs and the continuous operating costs of an independent OTT distribution platform,” HOOQ said in a statement.

The business doubled annual revenue to US$21.9 million as of March 2019, but losses grew to US$62.5 million from US$56.6 million a year prior. After five years—not to mention, the current period of increased difficulty—enough was enough.

Singtel is not alone in calling time; founding partners Sony and Warner already did so some time ago. The duo last put money into the business in January 2017, and even that was only the minimum agreed amount.

Regulatory filings show HOOQ received a total of US$127.2 million in capital—mostly from Singtel. The operator initially owned 65% of the business with the studios taking a 17.5% share each, but Singtel’s ownership climbed to 76.5% at the time of the liquidation.

HOOQ launched with a US$95 million funding commitment—across an initial $70 million and a further US$25 million—but Singtel continued to foot the bill, making two investments in 2018. And it may have spent more—HOOQ’s annual financial report shows it accumulated $220 million in aggregate losses as of March 2019.

Representatives from Singtel and HOOQ did not respond to a question about the company’s total funding.

A costly production

A costly production

Two Asia-based media executives told us that Singtel’s total spend surpassed $250 million, with one estimating it was as much as $350 million. We were unable to locate additional filings to show Singtel invested more than $127.2 million.

‘A million stories for a billion people’ was HOOQ’s tagline, but the business fizzled out long before it ever got close to that target.

The overly-protective parent

In stark contrast to rival iflix—which struggled to build a business whilst relying on investors for capital—Singtel, the lynchpin of the venture, shouldered the blame for many of HOOQ’s failings.

The HOOQ staff was supposed to get their own office, but the business never left Singtel’s headquarters building on Singapore’s Exeter Road. A detail symbolic of HOOQ’s struggle to own its voice and fate beyond being a part of Singtel, said three former employees. Those who worked at HOOQ enjoyed the job, five HOOQ employees said, but, to others looking in, the business was more a division of Singtel than a startup.

“It felt too corporate and not like a bunch of people hustling,” said the founder of a startup that worked with HOOQ. “There were lots of people from the telco business who I feel didn’t help build an innovative product or culture. It didn’t feel scrappy.”

What are the Other Uses for a Covid Hasty Test besides Slowing Leaks?

The devices, supplied by Swiss company Roche, arrived in the first week of April as per the government statement, but so far, only one is operational in Jakarta.

The lab conditions needed to be adjusted, said Arya Mahendra Sinulingga, a spokesperson for the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises at the press conference. Because the virus is so contagious, special precautions are necessary, such as a negative air pressure environment that ensures microorganisms don’t spread outside of the room. The machines sent to labs in Indonesia’s remote provinces will take at least two more weeks to be set up.

In the meanwhile, the private sector is stepping up.

Nusantics—a local biotech company which applies PCR technology in the cosmetics industry—made use of its lab and staff experience to help develop PCR test material locally. The kit, it claims, is adapted to the local strain of the virus, bettering accuracy.

Indonesia, like other countries, is also falling short on the supply of components to produce test kits at a massive scale. “All nations are fighting over the same raw materials. It is indeed a real challenge,” said Sharlini Elisa Putri, the CEO of Nusantics.

Nusantics was able to develop a prototype test kit, which can cover 6,400 tests, she said. The company handed over the prototype to Indonesia’s National Research Agency (BPPT), which now has to orchestrate the mass production of 100,000 test kits through a state-owned enterprise. Nusantics has no plans to commercialise its prototype, Sharlini Elisa Putri claimed. The firm raised money through a crowdfunding campaign to fund the acquisition of material for the kits, as well as further R&D.

Rapidly changing rapid testing

“This test kit will significantly increase national test capacity starting in the first weeks of May,” the task force at BPPT that’s in charge of the program told us. But that’s if everything goes to plan, and when efforts “run 24/7,” said a spokesperson for the group.

Another bottleneck is the shortage of trained staff. Handling samples is a risk and must be performed with strict discipline. A biotechnology research lab of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) has plans to train 800 lab assistants in the handling and processing of Covid-19 samples; it started the first wave of training on 31 March.

The number sounds impressive, however, with increasingly strict social distancing rules in the country, this type of training also has to be re-imagined and it will occur over several months. Only 16 participants out of batches of 100 can participate in the actual offline training in a real lab environment at a time, Ratih Asmana Ningrum, a researcher at LIPI involved in the program told us. The bulk of the training occurs online. It’s intended for people who are already working in labs but are new to handling Covid-19 samples.

It’s a slow process. In the meantime, rapid testing has taken centre stage, with Indonesia importing equipment from China.

The first batch of a total of 500,000 rapid test kits earmarked for import from China arrived mid-March and has since been distributed to hospitals and community health centres.

Digital banking license fray – Analysis of Approach in the Regional Context

Obtaining a Singapore digital banking licence will help in demonstrating their track record and regional connectivity to other regulators in ASEAN, where digital banking will grow in the future,” says Ernst & Young’s Mittal. A “badge of trust from a regulator in Singapore” may help get investors, and potential partners on board more easily, he adds.

There are no guarantees, though, others argue.

“I don’t think by virtue of having a licence in one market it can get you another one,” the aforementioned financial markets analyst says. “It gives credibility, but it still needs appetite from local regulators. There is no fast track.”

Banking for business

Retail digital banking sounds appealing, but there’s keener interest in Singapore’s digital wholesale banking licence. No fewer than 14 applicants are competing for three licences and a chance to go after what may be more genuine market opportunities.

“Applicants could be looking to leverage their existing ecosystems, rich data pools, and technological capabilities to identify customer needs, deliver customised services seamlessly and manage risks,” says Wong Nai Seng, regulatory risk leader at professional services firm Deloitte, Southeast Asia.

While there isn’t a real apples-to-apples comparison for other digital wholesale banking licences in the region, this interest signals a rush to tap Southeast Asia’s business banking needs, especially with the SMEs. Unlike traditional banks, many of the applicants come from a position of strength because they work with SMEs through their core business.

For example, Sea’s e-commerce unit, Shopee, already has a strong business, claiming 11,000 merchants and over 300 million deliveries per quarter across Southeast Asia and Taiwan. These customers and merchants can be onboarded on Sea’s digital financial services if it builds a layer on top of Shopee, or even Garena, its games business. Indeed, an executive within Shopee, speaking on the condition of anonymity, likened its banking ambition to that of Paypal, the payment giant that grew out of e-commerce platform eBay.

There are no guarantees, though, others argue

“Investors believe in the story, and we can raise the $1 billion [required for a licence] in a heartbeat even though we are admittedly not profitable yet,” the executive says of Sea’s decision to lodge a solo bid.

Ant Financial, the only other solo bidder, has the same edge. It provides the Alipay payment service that sits in Alibaba’s e-commerce businesses for merchants and customers. Adding a layer of digital financial services would help it build a strong customer base from Alibaba’s Lazada and Aliexpress shopping services in Southeast Asia.

The digital wholesale banks are likely to get into corporate cash management as well as cross-border transactions, according to a report by integrated financial services provider CGS-CIMB.

Of the announced contenders for a digital wholesale banking licence, two already have or operate a digital bank: Ant Financial operates MyBank, a virtual bank in China; and the consortium of Hong Kong-based investment banking firm AMTD Group, peer-to-peer financing platform Funding Societies, and utility provider SP Group. The AMTD Group includes Chinese consumer electronics company Xiaomi, which jointly holds a virtual banking licence in Hong Kong.

This is Your Digital Banking License: Singapore Edition

Financial services were the growth story Southeast Asia’s biggest startups pitched to investors in 2019, and that would seem to align with MAS’ vision. But there are fundamental concerns around the viability of these new licences and the groups that have bid for them.

How, for example, will multi-member consortia work in unison while there is uncertainty over the immediate five-year future of many startup applicants. Then, at a fundamental level, it is unclear if digital banks can even appeal to consumers and SMEs in Singapore. “How easy is it to get a 10X improvement in customer experience? People are kidding themselves that an improved version of what exists is enough to get new customers,” a financial markets analyst told us under the condition of anonymity for fear of upsetting the licence bidders.

The impact of digital banks on the three traditional local banks—Development Bank of Singapore (DBS), the Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), and the United Overseas Bank (UOB)—is expected to be limited. A forecast by brokerage firm Maybank Kim Eng sees digital banks accounting for just 1.2% of the Singapore dollar-denominated loan market share over the next three years.

Making money as a bank

Banks rely on loans as their main source of income. Customers deposit their money in banks, which provides cheap capital for them to disburse loans. For example, loans made up 64% of the total income for DBS—Southeast Asia’s largest bank—in the third quarter of 2019
A report by Blackbox Research found that 62% of respondents in Singapore were “quite interested” in moving some or all of their banking services to a digital bank. Still, the same survey concluded that 86% of respondents were satisfied with their current bank. Digital banks clearly need a workaround to navigate Singapore’s many paradoxes. And not everyone’s equipped.

Small market, odd bedfellows

Speculation on the licence bids has been rampant, and it isn’t restricted to who is in the running. Some high-profile pullouts hinted at uncertainty from bidders and the behind-the-scenes politics of consortia.

The OCBC was left at the altar when an alliance with SME-focused lending platform Validus Capital and Singaporean conglomerate Keppel Corporation collapsed. The official word? Keppel’s board is undergoing a strategic review of its operations. OCBC did not respond to our question regarding why its partners pulled out of the bid.

Things were murkier still at insurance provider Great Eastern—an OCBC subsidiary, no less—which failed to join a promising-looking consortium with Grab and telecom company Singtel, a financial industry executive tells us. A source revealed that Great Eastern had pulled out on its own, while the company and Singtel declined to comment.

Another Chinese entity, OneConnect—a tech-focused offshoot of conglomerate Ping An Insurance—also ditched its plans to bid. This was because of fears that the process may distract it from its initial public offering in the United States in December, the executive says. The listing saw it raise nearly half of its $504 million target at a slashed valuation of $3.6 billion, down from $7.5 billion in 2018. OneConnect claimed that it did not plan to apply for a Singapore digital bank licence and declined to comment on whether it opted against making an application.

South East Asia’s Potential Problem For Marketplace Marketplaces

There’s another likely motivation behind Gojek’s moves beyond Indonesia: being a nuisance to Grab. “It’s like a game: you try to neutralise your enemy, so neither of you has the advantage,” the investor mentioned above said.

By taking on Grab in other countries, Gojek aims to dilute its rival’s increasing focus on Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest market, accounting for 40% of its economic output. The thorn-in-Grab’s-side approach is very deliberate.

Gojek tracks a range of data that it uses to decide whether to invest in subsidies and discounts in expansion markets, a former company executive told The Ken. One of the key metrics is whether investing in local businesses will win market share and require Grab to increase its spending to keep up.

What We do at Denfex to Help Go-Jek Expand Globally

What We do at Denfex to Help Go-Jek Expand Globally

In Singapore, Gojek’s third market for expansion following Vietnam and Thailand, the strategy showed early promise. Gojek entered the city-state in November 2018 with no surge pricing and a reported 20,000 drivers on waitlist.

Though limited to taxis, the service initially seemed well-received as Gojek offered lower prices at select times during the day, according to Valerie Law, a transport analyst associated with investment research platform

Smartkarma . Gojek also gained attention “due to Grab’s missteps on the public relations side after it lowered incentives in its rewards system, and a lack of ride-hailing options after the exit of Uber,” added Law.
However, Gojek’s costly push didn’t last. The company slashed driver incentives just three months after launching in Singapore. Changes were also made on the passenger side, with a report from consultancy firm Momentum Works estimating that prices rose by around 30% around the same time.

Therein lies the problem if you want to compete with Grab. The company is backed by more cash than any other tech startup in the history of Southeast Asia. Its most recent Series H round closed out at $6.5 billion last year. That cash pile means Grab is more than able to play the subsidies game, and the company has been very keen to make that clear.

What is the Background?

That Series H round started with a $1 billion investment from Toyota in June 2018, months after the Uber deal. Grab sent out further warning shots to Gojek as the deal developed. A series of splashy announcements added new investors, including big names like tech giant Microsoft. With significant tranches of cash, most notably a $1.5 billion injection from SoftBank’s Vision Fund in March 2019, Grab built a phenomenal war chest of capital. The intent was clear: scare Gojek and put off potential investors who would fuel its business with cash.

“We want to be underfunded,” Makarim, the former Gojek CEO, told The Financial Times in an interview in April 2019. “It forces discipline. We will survive through innovation and monetisation and talent. We want to under-promise and over-deliver.”

Makarim may have been prepared for Grab stockpiling cash, but its efforts still seem to have had an effect. Gojek’s response to Grab’s huge financing push was a $2-billion mega round of its own.