ANEXT Bank launches API repository to boost financial inclusion for SMEs

Monday 13 November 2023 11:24 CET | News

Singapore-based digital bank ANEXT Bank has strengthened financial inclusion with the launch of its ANEXT Programme and welcomed three new platform partners.


ANEXT Bank, a digital wholesale bank incorporated in Singapore and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ant International, aims to drive financial inclusion for SMEs with the launch of ANEXT Programme for Industry Specialists (APIs) repository. ANEXT also welcomes three new platform partners onboard the programme DeliveryChinatown, Hong Xin Da, and Shopmatic. By working with these new partners, ANEXT Bank aims to make financing more accessible to more than one million regional SMEs.

ANEXT Bank has strengthened financial inclusion with the launch of its ANEXT Programme and welcomed three new platform partners.

The landscape of SME financing in Singapore

Securing funding remains a great impediment for SMEs in fostering growth and sustaining operations. ANEXT Bank's survey exhibits that 84% of Singaporean SMEs intend to search for extra financing in 2024. Primary purposes consist of addressing cashflow demanding situations due to elevated charges, inflation, and macroeconomic elements, helping digital transformation, and increasing product degrees. Despite this, one-third of surveyed SMEs encounter problems gaining access to financing, attributed to factors which includes non-alignment with current alternatives, constrained picks, or inadequate mortgage amounts for their specific commercial enterprise requirements.

Officials from ANEXT Bank said they recognise the diverse needs of SMEs and believe that the way to alleviate the various stress and spillover effect from the macro environment is to work very closely with industry partners who have a first-hand view of their customers’ pain points. Having run the ANEXT Programme for Industry Specialists for a year, they’ve been able to apply the learnings and deliver new embedded financial services solutions via their new partners. The goal is to anticipate and deliver precise support to as many SMEs across the region as possible.

Expanding horizons in SME financing and beyond

ANEXT Bank first launched the ANEXT Programme for Industry Specialists in 2022 to strengthen the overall financing ecosystem for SMEs through collaboration with industry specialists, allowing SMEs to have a one-stop access to a more comprehensive suite of services. The enhanced programme now extends beyond financing – partners are able to also avail interest-bearing offerings, for example allowing their customers to earn interest on their wallet balances, or placing fixed deposits.

The Bank’s officials added that as industry specialists explore the potential of their proven API solutions for both their businesses and SME clients, the decision to launch the APIs repository was made. Working with various partners, many of which are SMEs, the priority was to streamline and expedite the delivery of ANEXT Bank's financial services. For instance, partners can go live twice as fast compared to the industry standard for basic financing modules. This collaborative approach significantly contributes to expanding SMEs' access to financial services.

Besides being able to avail some of ANEXT Bank’s products that are well received in the market amongst SMEs, especially micro and growing businesses, the APIs repository also includes secure bank grade solutions like customer onboarding and authentication.

Executives from DeliveryChinatown said their platform supports the ordering and delivery requirements of restaurants and eateries in Southeast Asia. Their orders from their targeted segment are generally high in volume and value, and they know financing can help expand their operations. When they came across the ANEXT Programme, they knew they wanted to partner ANEXT Bank to enhance their value proposition and attract new customers by letting their customers get financing directly, plus manage the loan through their platform.

Hong Xin Da, an importer of F&B supplies with more than 4,000 supermarket and F&B buyers, noticed that their customers are splitting their orders as a way to help with cashflow management. To alleviate their customers’ stress on day-to-day operations, Hong Xin Da will offer micro loans similar to a Pay Later model via the APIs and hopes to expand regionally with this stronger proposition.

Shopmatic, a global ecommerce platform with more than a million users sees its merchants requiring short-term financing to kickstart their business as most are new business owners. Through the APIs, Shopmatic wants to help business owners save time and hassle by allowing them to apply for financing from as low as USD 3676, up to USD 220,590, directly within the Shopmatic platform.

ANEXT Bank's ongoing commitment and expansion efforts

ANEXT Bank continues to address underserved SME financing needs Since its launch in June 2022, the bank had set out to make financial services accessible and effortless for SMEs, especially for micro and growing businesses. The bank is staying true to its mission and its customer base is reflective of its efforts:

  • Launching remote onboarding for SMEs which enables the bank to better support regional SMEs. To date, the bank counts 31% of its customers as foreign business owners, made up of 44 different nationalities;

  • Serving the underserved with 68% of the bank’s customers being micro SMEs (MSMEs), while 38% have been incorporated for less than two years;

  • Easy access to financing with loans starting as low as USD 3676- 56% of ANEXT Business Loan customers are MSMEs;

  • Supporting SMEs’ internationalisation, ANEXT Bank saw an average 40% month- on-month increase in cross-border transactions.

The ANEXT Programme for Industry Specialists welcomes more like-minded partners, including ecommerce solution providers, delivery and services platforms, trade and procurement platforms, and payment services platforms to collectively reimagine financial services for SMEs to enable their growth. SMEs can also nominate platforms that they are doing business on to partner with ANEXT Bank.

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Keywords: SMEs, ecommerce, cash flow, API, survey, financial inclusion
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Companies: ANEXT Bank
Countries: Singapore
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech


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