**For Immediate Release**
Reap and Visa Survey: Growing Burden of Financial Management Restricting SME Success and Increasing Demand on Smart Business Credit Card
90% of SMEs spend the same or more time on managing finances today than 2 years ago despite 80% of SMEs already using automation and external support
32% of SMEs could not obtain short-term loans when needed the most in the last 12 months
86% of SMEs are open to adopt more comprehensive and digital solutions such as credit cards that include expense management and financing access built-in
(Hong Kong - 9 December 2021)
Proper financial management has always been a key factor to growth for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). As a technology company focused on enabling better financial management, Reap has always emphasized the need for improvement in this area. As such, Reap, together with global payments network Visa, took a deeper look at challenges faced by local businesses by conducting a comprehensive survey to unveil the exact impact of unseen financial challenges.
The Future of SME Financing in Hong Kong survey interviewed 300 SMEs in the city and discovered that financial activities are a growing burden for all companies. Startups and established businesses spend 20% and 25% of their time on financial tasks respectively, indicating that the time needed for financial tasks increases as businesses grow, and lesser time is available for core revenue generating activities.
Inefficient finance management tool hindering SMEs to grow further SMEs are fully aware of the importance of efficient and effective financial management. The report finds almost 80% of respondents have adopted either semi- or fully-automation tools, or external support to aid their financial operations. However, despite this, no significant gains in efficiency have been achieved. 90% of respondents claim they spend more or the same amounts of time on finance as they did two years ago, and 80% felt ‘pain with automation, cash flow and time efficiency.’
The summarized data indicates that the current set of tools and support do not effectively solve the challenges faced by SMEs, and suggest an urgent need to replace traditional financial tools. Being the fast-growing business enabler, Reap is creating the right software offerings to empower SMEs with flexibility, security and autonomy to scale, grow, adapt, as well as achieve their expansion plans.
“Oftentimes, SMEs are stuck between a rock and hard place. They are eager to unlock the opportunities. However, they are also usually handcuffed by financial challenges. 32% of SMEs could not get short-term loans when needed in the last 12 months. Not only are SMEs restricted from financing through traditional means, but they are also using inefficient financial management tools. From the survey, 35% of SMEs admitted that they spend too much time on settling and reconciling payments, and managing internal finances.” says Daren Guo, Co-founder of Reap. “At Reap, we wish to ease their burden borne by financial management. However, the current landscape in Hong Kong wedges them deeper in this difficult position.”
The right digital financial tool saves time and reduces cumbersome procedure 86% of the surveyed SMEs showed interest in a smart multi-functional business credit card to address all their financial operational concerns, enabling them to not only manage payments, financial planning and analysis more systematically and efficiently, but also to control and settle all types of company purchases digitally, while optimizing cash flow without hassle. 87% of respondents agree that the ability to make payments via credit card, debit card, and other advanced modes provides added benefits of convenience and ease (29%), time efficiency (27%), better reporting (27%), and helps to grow their business (27%). “Financial health has always played a key role in business growth,” says Guo. “It was with this knowledge that Reap forged ahead with dedicated SMEs software solutions that will actually support their growth and financial activities, rather than anchoring them down unnecessarily. Our new Reap Card exemplifies this need, given thousands of businesses on the waitlist and doubling new applications every month wishing to adopt the solution since its launch. With the data supported from this report, we continue to identify and solve challenges in the SME business management space.”
The Smart Business Credit Card Solution that Enables Businesses to Grow Reap Card, the next-generation smart business credit card co-developed with Visa, is the newest part of Reap’s all-in-one business kit that solves challenges that businesses face with financial management. Since its launch in October 2021, Reap Card has successfully helped SMEs to save more than 4 hours per week on financial activities through its simple and smart spend management system, easy tracking and simplified approval features on out-of-budget expenses, as well as easy accounting software integration with instant report generation and expense reimbursement automation. Business owners can subscribe to Reap Card now on Reap’s swift and secure online platform (https://reap.global/en/card) for a simple and smart spending management system to grow businesses.
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More about The Future of SME Financing in Hong Kong The survey was conducted by Clear M&C Saatchi appointed by Reap and Visa from September 2021 to October 2021. The target population were n=300 owners or decision makers of small and medium enterprises in Hong Kong. Information was collected via an online survey ensuring the sample had a good spread across different industries sectors, years of operation, number of employees and business revenue.
Reap Technologies Limited is a technology company dedicated to fuelling the ambitions of small businesses. They deliver corporate payment solutions to improve the way small businesses operate today and prepare them for the challenges of tomorrow. Currently, Reap's all-in-one financial platform enables small businesses to pay expenses and collect revenue – to and from anyone, anywhere – entirely via credit card. The company has revolutionized the way businesses manage cash flow, leveraging credit cards to smoothen cash flow and increase capital efficiency by digitizing day-to-day finances and transactions. As strong advocates of small to medium-sized businesses, Reap believes businesses should operate at their potential, not at their size. Reap continues to innovate, advancing technology and building better tools for small businesses to level the playing field – giving every small business access of a large enterprise.
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device, for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit www.visa.com.hk, visa.com/blog and @VisaNews.