- Aspire is a Singaporean-based neobank that provides easy online business account opening for companies in various jurisdictions around the world.
- The account opening process is simple, involving registering an online account, submitting KYC documentation, and then waiting for around 4-5 business days.
- Aspire offers multicurrency business banking accounts, allowing users to hold funds in SGD and USD, with local account details for SGD, SWIFT account details for international transactions, and ACH account details for USD transfers inside the U.S.
- Aspire provides virtual and physical business cards
- Aspire offers an advance limit, an automatic fee-free overdraft on business cards based on users’ business turnover
A couple of years ago, It used to be hard to open a business account if you were just starting. Then, fintech companies closed the market gap.
One such company is Aspire, a Singaporean-based neobank founded in 2018.
I’m using Aspire as a main bank account for my business for the last two years, so I decided to write this review for you.
It is more relevant than ever – since Aspire is now open to onboard companies based or registered in many countries around the world.
How to Open an Aspire Business Account
It’s a big relief if you can open a solid business account completely online. And in the case of Aspire, you definitely can.
The whole process took me around 4-5 days.
1. Start by Chatting with a Support Team
Since Aspire is opening accounts for international businesses now, I wouldn’t list all the jurisdictions they work with.
Even more, honestly, it’s not very clear from which countries they take business customers.
Luckily, Aspire has an amazing customer service team. It has been proven to me many times. Whenever I opened a chat with them – my issue was always resolved.
Aspire onboard business customers from Singapore, Hong Kong, and many other jurisdictions.
But, if you have a company registered in another country, my advice would be to ask Aspire team if they do open accounts for your country through the chat first.
This way, you will be sure you are not wasting your time submitting the application.
2. Register an Account and Submit Your KYC documentation
Aspire has an automated process for it.
They don’t ask for anything unusual. Moreover, I would say Aspire is asking a bare minimum to stay compliant.
They will ask for the following:
- Your company registration documents
- Beneficial Owners’ and Directors’ ID cards
- Proof of address of Business Owners and Directors
- Description of Your Business
- Your contact details: email, phone number
It may be that Aspire will ask you for extra documentation. And that’s completely fine.
Aspire is regulated in Singapore, which has flexible, business-oriented, but strict rules for financial services companies.
3. Wait Around 4-5 Business Days
After you submitted all the documentation, your account should be opened during the following 4-5 business days.
My account was opened just 2 days after, but I would expect it to take a bit longer on average.
During this time, Aspire may ask you something extra, before your account can be opened. Though, check your email regularly and don’t miss phone calls.
After Aspire will notify you that they opened an account for you, you will get access to the banking dashboard.
The same as I posted above.
Aspire Multicurrency Business Banking Accounts
As you see in the screenshot above, I have accounts in two different currencies within Aspire.
You can receive money in different currencies but hold it only in SGD or USD.
Let me show you the SGD account.
Aspire SGD Account
When I opened an Aspire, account a couple of years ago, an SGD account was the only one offered by the neobank.
But don’t let it mislead you.
The Aspire SGD account has so much more functionality than the standard SGD account.
So, there are two parts to it.
Local Account Details
To provide you with local SGD bank details, Aspire partners with DBS Bank, one of the top 4 banks in Singapore.
Aspire will assign you an account number that will have a DBS Bank name on it.
These are local details. It can be used only to send and receive SGD within Singapore.
SWIFT Account Details
But, what’s interesting, your Aspire SGD account will also come with SWIFT account details.
It is provided by Currency Cloud, a UK-based fintech company.
This way, you can receive money in over 20 major currencies to the same IBAN.
Since with Aspire, you can’t hold money in currencies other than SGD or USD, the money you receive on your SWIFT Account Details will be automatically converted to SGD.
Any currency conversion comes with a cost. But in the case of Aspire, the currency conversion costs are low.
Whenever I received money in a currency different from SGD or USD, I was happy with the rate.
The rate was far better than traditional banks offering and usually didn’t differ too much from what I saw in Google when looking for this specific currency exchange rate.
I didn’t use the PayNow feature yet, but it is a technology similar to Zelle in the U.S.
You can instantly send and receive the money within Singaporean banks with it. More over, this is a very low-cost option.
Aspire USD Account
With Aspire, you can receive USD to your SWIFT account details. But this way, the USD someone sent to your business will be converted into SGD.
If you are doing international business, that’s not always reasonable for you to convert all receiving transactions into USD.
I think Aspire knew it, also listened to their customers, and partnered up with Community Federal Savings Bank in the U.S. to provide “native” USD bank details.
The bank details that are coming up with an Aspire USD account have the usual format for the U.S. bank:
- Account number
- ACH Routing number
So, if you need to send or receive money in USD, you can do so “natively” with the ACH transfers.
But, if you need to send or receive a wire transfer in USD, you will still have to use bank details provided by Currency Cloud.
Business Cards Provided by Aspire
I have two virtual cards issued instantly with my Aspire business account: the SGD and USD corporate VISA.
If I would need more cards for my business expenses, I could get them from Aspire for free.
There are two types of cards Aspire offers to their customers:
You can get more virtual cards for free; the first physical card is free too.
It’s not only easy to get Aspire cards, but it’s easy to manage them too.
There are useful features there:
- Spend Limits
- Freezing a Card Automatically by a Rule
For example, you can set a rule of 1 transaction for your newly issued card, making it a single-use card.
Aspire’s Advance Limit
After you use Aspire for a while, they will offer you what is basically a fee-free overdraft on your business card.
Based on your turnover and on how regular is your business income, they will assign you an advance limit of up to SGD 50,000
What’s good about it:
- It’s automatic. You can opt-in for it with a few clicks
- Up to 51 days interest-free
- You can get it in SGD or USD currency
- There are no personal guarantees implied to you.
Other Aspire Features
I don’t use other features Aspire offers, so I’ll just list them here:
- A simple dashboard for Transactions and Statements with many filter and analytic options.
- Budgeting. You can control business expenses for a specific expense type, team, or project.
- An easy way to submit out-of-pocket expenses
- Bill management system to add, approve and make your vendor payments
- Invoice management system
- A payment link to accept payments from customers
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