Aspirasi’s digital financial access supports struggling underserved MSMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aspirasi, a digital financier under Axiata Digital bagged the Fintech award for Financial Services at the recently concluded Malaysia Technology Excellence Awards 2020, presented by Singapore Business Review.
Now in its second year, the awards event recognizes organizations that dare to take risks and grab the reins in developing trailblazing innovations, digital services, reinvented strategies, and technological projects. Awardees were selected according to exceptionality and innovation, success, and impact as well as dynamism.
With micro-financing and micro-insurance solutions provided by Aspirasi, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can explore various financing opportunities with ease so they can focus on achieving their business potential and growth without financial worries.
When COVID-19 hit Malaysia and the movement control order (MCO) was put into effect, Aspirasi realised that MSME businesses, especially those within the B40 segment were in dire need of financial support. According to the Central Bank of Malaysia, around 40% of MSMEs had the financial runway to only last up to four weeks. Furthermore, 70% of Malaysian MSMEs sourced their financing from family members or personal savings, due to financial barriers such as insufficient collateral and lack of documentation.
Within one week since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, Aspirasi developed Aspirasi Assist, a 100% fully digital programme that has now become one of the few signature solutions in the market that uses a digital first approach to offer quick and seamless financing support MSMEs during this challenging period.
On 25 March, Aspirasi began supporting the Axiata COVID-19 Assistance Program via Aspirasi Assist with micro-financing from RM1,000 to RM20,000 with favorable terms such as 6 months payment holiday and profit rates from as low as 0.5%. Approved applicants will receive funding within 48 hours and micro-insurance solutions were also added to further protect MSMEs from unforeseen circumstances.
Aspirasi Assist disburses from a 150 million fund with support from the Ministry of Finance, and was initially targeted to help 150,000 MSMEs within the Axiata network such as Boost and Aspirasi merchants and Celcom vendors. However, Aspirasi knew more could be done to ensure any MSME can receive much-needed financing .
On 10 April, the team embarked on a mission to revolutionize digital access to finance. Working around the clock across 2 weeks, Aspirasi launched its open market journey for Aspirasi Assist on the first day of Ramadan. By leveraging cutting edge innovation with emerging technologies such as machine learning, AI big data processing and robotic process automation (RPA), any eligible MSME can now just go through a quick 3-minute journey to get fast approval and quick disbursement of funds within 48 hours.
“We are thrilled to win this award. Not only is it a testament of our core value which lies in financially assisting and protecting MSMEs, but also signifies the hard work that the team puts in on a daily basis to support the underserved community in their darkest hour to continue their business aspirations. We are also proud that through our unique digital platform, MSMEs are encouraged to embrace technology and become a part of the digital economy,” said Sheyantha Abeykoon, Executive Director of Aspirasi
As of early July, Aspirasi Assist has supported almost 3,500 MSMEs with grants of up to RM12m in micro-financing, with more than 25,000 micro-businesses having visited and begun their journey on the platform. Aspirasi Assist also achieved almost RM1m in weekly financing and 55% of loans granted. Aspirasi will continue to explore opportunities and collaborations to provide its micro-financing and micro-insurance solutions to support all MSMEs in Malaysia their time of need and those interested can visit www.aspirasi.co
The Malaysia Technology Excellence Awards, presented by Singapore Business Review, was held via video conferencing throughout the month of September.
This year’s nominations were judged by a panel consisting of Justin Ong, Partner and FSI Financial and Regulatory Risk Leader at Deloitte Asia Pacific; Alvin SH Gan, Executive Director, Partner, Head of IT enabled Transformation (ITeT) at KPMG Malaysia; Hari Iyer, Executive Director, Advisory at BDO Kuala Lumpur; Michael Lim Jr, Managing Director at Crowe Growth Consulting Sdn Bhd; Jade Leong, Partner, Advisory at Ernst & Young Advisory Services Sdn Bhd.
If you would like to join the 2021 awards and be acclaimed for your company’s exceptional technological innovations, please email Julie Anne Nuñez at email@example.com
Do you know more about this story? Contact us anonymously through this link.