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One less headache: Why all S’pore businesses should automate their invoice payments

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aspire

For a busy entrepreneur, five minutes may seem like precious moments.

That’s because a day in the life of an entrepreneur usually means irregular working hours, impending tasks, and the constant push for earnings.

For small business owners and startup founders, as the business is still small, they spend a lot of time managing administrative and finance-related tasks. This is because the scale of the company does not warrant an additional headcount for administrative or finance roles.

While it is not hard to manage a company’s finances, the process is tedious and time-consuming. 

Traditional invoice payment process usually involves collecting the invoices, launching your internet banking platform, keying in the payment details such as the name of the recipient and the bank account number, approving the transaction, and finally, reconciling the account balance and ensuring that each transaction is supported by the corresponding invoice.

And this is just one payment process. Imagine having to process multiple payments every day — this takes up valuable time which could be used for other strategic business functions.

Manual accounts payable process
Manual accounts payable process / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

Recognising this problem, Singapore fintech startup Aspire has rolled out a new feature to help eliminate this concern. 

Called Bill Pay, the service is useful for any company that receives bills or invoices to pay, such as bills for rental, invoices for goods or services rendered, and paying freelancers’ invoices. 

aspire bill pay
How Aspire Bill Pay works / Image Credit: Aspire

How it works is that instead of the startup founder or SME business owner needing to manually process the payments and invoices, you simply need to forward the invoices to a unique Aspire Bill Pay email address and the payment process will be automatically managed for you. 

It’s like having a free virtual accountant — all you need to do is log into your Aspire Bill Pay dashboard and approve the transactions, and Aspire will take care of the rest. 

How to get started on Aspire Bill Pay

Aspire Bill Pay is free for any business owner to sign up for. 

You can easily set up an account using SingPass authentication, which will only take a mere five minutes. 

Signing up for an Aspire account in-app / Image Credit: Aspire

Once you have access to the app, you can make a deposit to your Aspire business account, just like any other bank account. 

Your unique Aspire business account details can be found on the dashboard and you can start making payments on the Aspire app with the balance in your account. 

To create a bill payment, it is as quick as forwarding an invoice to bills@aspireapp.com and the system will set up the payment on your behalf.

After forwarding Aspire the invoice, the user — who is usually the company director or account administrator — will almost immediately receive an email acknowledging the payment request. 

The approver can then release the payment to the recipient. This payment approval can be done from both the Aspire desktop and mobile app. 

What this means is that instead of the traditional process of manually entering the details of each payment details, startup founders and SME business owners now have additional help from Aspire’s artificial intelligence (AI)-based digital assistant, which comes at no additional cost. 

This provides significant time savings and also eliminates the busywork of manual invoice entries as well as potential data entry mistakes.

aspire payments
Aspire payments dashboard / Image Credit: Aspire

Furthermore, companies can schedule the payment to be paid on their relevant due date when they receive suppliers’ invoices. This is a more efficient filing process that would allow the company to maximise its payment terms, which can translate to better cash flow.

Startup founders and SME business owners will be happy to know that Aspire accounts allow users to seamlessly integrate their accounting softwares, such as Xero and Quickbooks. This speeds up the time for accountants and business owners to close their books with payment data automatically synced to their books.

One-stop business account, virtual cards

Besides the free AI-based digital assistant, Aspire also offers other services that are helpful to businesses.

For one, businesses can manage other financial activities including borderless payments, corporate cards, credit solutions, and expense management on the single integrated platform.

Aspire also allows business owners to create virtual corporate VISA cards that can be used for cashless payments, as well as issue new cards for each employee for general cash expenses.

A cashback of one per cent is given for eligible payments, and there are also low exchange rates for international purchases.

According to the comparison found on Aspire’s website, Aspire’s business account offers zero monthly fees, compared with monthly fees of between S$3 and S$18 for accounts offered by local banks DBS, OCBC and UOB. 

There is also no minimum deposit requirement for the Aspire business account, compared with other similar accounts which require a minimum deposit of S$1,000 like the DBS Business Digital Account and UOB Business SGD Current Account. 

Aspire app
Aspire app / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

All in all, there is really no reason why startup founders or business owners should not give Aspire a go. Other than the zero monthly fees, they get to enjoy a virtual assistant that can help them save valuable time in a typically tedious accounting process.

Join 10,000 other businesses in Singapore and try out Aspire’s Bill Pay service here for free. And there’s more — new users will also receive S$100 cashback on their first two invoices processed via Aspire Bill Pay (with a minimum transaction of S$50 each).

Sounds like it’s too good to be true? It’s really not, simply sign up with the promo code “Billpay100” and earn your cashback immediately.

This article was written in collaboration with Aspire.

Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post

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