Before starting CardUp, I spent years in the payment industry where the goal of increasing credit card usage was set time and again. In Singapore, the average consumer has six different cards paired with plenty of loyalty perks, resulting in very little loyalty to a single card. I always thought about what could be done to increase spend on cards that would also be mutually beneficial to card networks, issuers and consumers.
Also when I looked at my own monthly expenses, it seemed ironic that majority of my big recurring payments such as rent could not be put on cards. I relied on bank transfers and checks to pay for these items when I had a card spend limit dangling in my face. And then there were the exciting trips I imagined affording with the thousands of rewards points I could earn by spending more money on my card. That’s why I sketched a plan for CardUp – an online platform that lets consumers and businesses pay for big-ticket items using their card, in places where cards have not historically been accepted.
CardUp offers both individuals and businesses the ability to make payments such as rent, insurance premiums, supplier fees or even taxes, without requiring the recipient to accept card payments or take any additional steps such as signing up for our service. Users simply create a CardUp account and schedule one-off, advanced or recurring payments. Five business days ahead of the payment’s due date, CardUp charges the user’s card for the amount owed, plus a processing fee. The recipient receives the funds by bank transfer on the due date, and the consumer will get a notification when it’s been completed.
Even businesses can enjoy the convenience by managing their expenses with CardUp to improve cash flow management, make payables painless, and earn rebates. And with each payment, users – both consumers and businesses – can earn their usual rate of reward points or air miles and also unlock additional CardUp rewards that are tailored specifically to their interests.
Though CardUp began in Singapore, demand has grown rapidly and we’ve had people and companies around the world asking if they could use our service. We are delighted to be part of the Start Path virtual mentorship program which is helping us push our own boundaries and expand to other markets. Though we’re only just getting started, I’m really excited to continue exploring the world of possibilities in fintech and changing the payments landscape with Mastercard. Stay tuned for the next ‘Fridays with Fintechs‘ blog on Friday, October 13.