Airwallex is a fintech startup offering virtual business accounts and other payment solutions for small and medium size companies operating internationally.
Because fintech companies are still relatively new in the market, you may wonder if opening an Airwallex business account will serve your needs in the same way a traditional bank account would.
This article will address this concern by providing a general presentation of Airwallex.
In case you want to know everything about Airwallex, we have you covered with our in-depth review of their products, fees, and more.
Finally, we have also developed a full comparison of Airwallex and Statrys so you may decide which platform is the best fit for your business.
General Background Information
Airwallex was first established in Melbourne - Australia, in 2015 and has then expanded to other countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, and the US.
The company was founded by Jack Zhang - acting as CEO-, Jacob Dai, Lucy Liu, and Max Li. It is backed by Tencent, a Chinese multinational technology and entertainment conglomerate and holding company headquartered in Shenzhen.
As of December 2022, Airwallex has raised a total of USD902M across 12 funding rounds with 22 investors.
Similar to other payment fintech companies, the business model of Airwallex is built upon the generation of fees in connection with the transactions executed by their clients.
What is Airwallex?
Airwallex is often referred to as a digital bank or a neobank. However, legally speaking, Airwallex is not a bank, and so it does not offer bank accounts in the same way HSBC, Citibank, or any other legacy bank would do.
Instead, Airwallex is a payment Fintech fully licensed to provide business accounts and payment services in accordance with the applicable regulations of the countries where they operate.
Airwallex focus is to transform the experience of small and medium-sized enterprises with business banking. Think of their platform as finance business tools consolidated in one place to help any international business to manage their local and international payments with low fees.
What services does Airwallex provide?
First, you should know that Airwallex does not offer personal accounts to individuals.
The account opening is reserved for businesses registered in certain countries.
More precisely, the list of countries depends on the jurisdiction where you sign up for an account opening - e.g., their Australian entity can only open Airwallex accounts to companies registered in Australia and New Zealand .
With this clarification in mind, Airwallex services include the following:
1. Multi-currency Business Accounts
Using technology as a driver, Airwallex has developed a multi-currency business account consisting of the aggregation of several local accounts. For example, it includes a USD account in the US or a EUR account in the EU. This multi-currency account enables your company to hold, collect and send money in all major currencies.
2. Easy Transfers
You can now execute local and international transfers without worrying about transfer fees. Low and transparent fees apply when you transfer money so you can manage payments with peace of mind.
3. Virtual Debit Cards
You can create your business debit cards, provide your employees with a business debit card and manage all card transactions with customizable spending limits, all in one place.
4. Xero Integration Bets
Lastly, you can automatically synchronize your business transactions to Xero, an online accounting software. That way, you will ensure that your records are always updated.
5. Foreign Currency Exchange
In case your business is dealing with multiple currencies, Airwallex offers competitive exchange rates. The exchange rate for each currency pair (e.g., USD /EUR) is based on the mid-market rate.
Setting Up Your Airwallex Account
The creation of an Airwallex business account requires the following actions:
- Provide your first and last name and business email to get started.
- Create a password to secure your account.
- Provide the name of your business and the country where it is registered.
- Provide a mobile number for you to be contacted at.
- Lastly, you will have to agree to the Terms & Conditions and Policies.
You can create an Airwallex account online here.
Verifying Your Account
Once your account is set up, Airwallex will request some information about your company, its shareholders, its directors, the nature of its business, etc.
That's what Airwallex calls the verification of your account. This process is standard for the opening of business bank accounts. It is designed to help Airwallex review your application and decide whether they will open your company a business account.
In practice, you will need to go through different steps, as indicated below:
Step 1: Providing Your Business Details
You will have to provide some basic information about your company, including the country of registration location, the structure, and a link to the company website or social media pages.
To help validate your business, you will also need to describe the industry your business is in more specifically and clearly describe the type of goods and services your business provides.
Step 2: Describing your Future Transactions
Next, you will have to provide information about the details of your future transactions with Airwallex.
These details include where, how, and how much you plan to spend and receive using the money you hold in your Airwallex account.
You will need to provide the following information:
- List of countries you will receive payments from.
- List of countries you will be sending funds to.
- List all the countries where your company is incorporated and has a physical office with employees (excluding independent contractors and freelancers).
- An estimate of how much you expect to send and receive each month.
- Where you will be collecting money from - This can include marketplaces such as Amazon, payment gateways such as Paypal, third parties bank accounts, and other payment service providers such as Wise and Western Union.
- Where you will be paying money to - This can include payment to employees, contractors, suppliers, investors, or any other related subsidiaries of the companies.
Step 3: Uploading your documents
You will have to upload the following documents:
- Incorporation certificate of your company
- Memorandum and articles of association of your company (or equivalent company constitution documents)
- Copies of personal ID and proof of address for all director(s). You will also have to disclose whether any of these directors are Ultimate Beneficial Owners
- Copies of personal ID for ALL Ultimate Beneficial Owners who own or control, directly or indirectly, 25% or more shares in the business.
After you submit all the information required by Airwallex, the verification of your account will generally be completed within 1-3 working days .
If any additional details regarding your application are needed, a member of the Airwallex team will contact you.
Statrys - An alternative to Airwallex
If you have a registered business in Hong Hong, Singapore, or the BVI, you may consider opening an account with Statrys.
Statrys offers business accounts designed to fit your needs, including:
- A multi-currency business account in Hong Kong
- A EURO IBAN account
- Virtual and physical MASTERCARD payment cards with built-in controls and limits to manage business expenses
- FX services at competitive exchange rates (spot and forward contracts).
- All transaction fees are cheaper than with traditional banks.
The entire account opening process is online, and 85% of the clients have their accounts approved in less than 3 days.
And, if you believe that Fintechs should not be about technology and finance only, Statrys differentiates by assigning a dedicated account manager to each client. Because we are tech lovers who love helping our clients!
What is Airwallex used for?
Is Airwallex a bank account?
Where is Airwallex from?
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Statrys Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
Airwallex and the Airwallex logo are trademarks of Airwallex (Hong Kong) Limited, registered in the Hong Kong SAR China and other countries and regions.