Needing an international payment provider but feeling a little overwhelmed? With so many options out there, how do you make sure you are getting the right payment provider for your business?
Aspire is one option. If you are unfamiliar with Aspire, our in-depth review will provide you with everything you need.
Are you at the stage where you are comparing options? We have compared Aspire and Statrys in full detail in this article to help. The purpose is not to come to a recommendation, but to provide you with the information you need to determine which provider could be a fit for your business needs, compared to traditional banking services.
First up, let’s look at each provider at a glance.
Aspire is a payment provider company headquartered in Singapore. It enables businesses and individuals to send and receive payments from a local bank account and via SWIFT for international transfers in SGD, USD, and IDR. You can also access payment cards, and integrated invoicing and accounting services.
Pros of Aspire
- Can open an account if your business is based in most Asian countries plus others
- Free local transfers in SGD, USD and IDR
- Attractive card offering, and accounting and invoicing integrations
- Can open an account online
Cons of Aspire
- Limited multi currency account options compared to other fintechs
- No FX spot or forward contract options
- Customer support appears to be basic
Statrys offers the latest in online payment services to SMEs and entrepreneurs around the world from its headquarters in Hong Kong. As a Statrys customer you can access 11 currency accounts with a single account number for local and international transfers, as well as payment cards and foreign exchange services.
Pros of Statrys
- Can open an account if your business is incorporated in HK, Singapore and the British Virgin Islands
- Multi-currency account supporting 11 currencies
- Offers spot and forward FX conversion options
- No opening fees or minimum balance
- 100% online account opening
Cons of Statrys
- Small fees for local transfers in currencies other than HKD
- Card fees slightly higher than Aspire’s offering
Both fintech offers customers a multi-currency account, which performs like a traditional bank account for making and receiving payments across a range of currencies, as well as for holding money. Multi-currency accounts have different capabilities for receiving and sending payments. For example, an Aspire USD account may have different fees than a Statrys USD account for when you want to receive or send USD.
In the table below we take a closer look at the differences between an Aspire business account and a Statrys business account.
|Currency Accounts||SGD, USD, IDR,||HKD, USD, EUR, GBP, CNY, JPY, CHF, AUD, SGD, CAD, NZD|
|Single Account Number|
|Receiving Payment Methods||Local payment platforms for SGD, USD, and IDR
SWIFT for international payments (receiving SWIFT transfers other than USD will automatically be converted into SGD)
|Local payments for HKD and CNY
SWIFT for international payments
|Receiving Limits||SGD200,000 for FAST payment method||No limit|
|Sending Payment Methods||Local payment methods for SGD and IDR (free) and USD
SWIFT for international
|Local payment for specific currencies
SWIFT for all supported currencies
IDR50,000,000.00/instant transfer - will take longer if above the amount
|For SWIFT transfers: no Limit
For Local Payments: USD1,000,000 or equivalent
If you need more currency capability, in addition to a USD account and a SGD account, a Statrys account has the advantage over Aspire with its 11 currency account offering. It also offers a single account number for those 11 currencies, compared to Aspire’s different account details for each currency account. Both offer cheaper local payment methods for specific currencies. Their appeal will depend on which currencies your business trades in most.
One big advantage fintechs have over traditional banks is their lower pricing of foreign exchange conversions when a business is making payments across borders. The currency conversion takes place when you make or receive a payment that involves two different currencies, with the currencies automatically converted at the time of the transaction.
The best rate for a conversion is known in industry lingo as the mid-market rate. Let’s see how these two compare on their FX offering.
|Receiving Exchange Rate||‘Best rates’ up to 3x cheaper than banks||Based on live mid-market rate|
|FX Fee||0 or SGD5-60, or USD8||As low as 0.1%|
|Sending Exchange Rate||Mid-market rate (through Wise)||Based on live-mid market rate|
|FX Fee||‘Low transparent fee’ or USD8 for USD or IDR4,000 for IDR||As low as 0.1%|
|Spot or forward rate options|
For companies regularly requiring FX, Statrys offers a flat fee of 0.1%, which is considered low compared to many other fintech business accounts and banks.
On the other hand, Aspire offers no fees for receiving money but did say that the FX rate will be applied at the time of receiving the funds into your account at the mid-market rate with the standard Wise fee. To get an estimate on this rate, Aspire recommends using Wise's currency converter
Fintechs can offer debit cards as part of their service offering to new clients and existing clients. Card offerings usually differ on fees and other features. Let’s see what Aspire and Statrys are offering.
|Physical Card||Yes (first card free), then SGD15 for each subsequent card||Yes (first card free), then HKD48/month for each subsequent card|
|Eligibility||Company must be registered in Singapore or Indonesia||Company must be registered in HK or Singapore|
|Apple Pay/Google Wallet Integration|
|Rates for FX||‘Best rates’ with zero fees||FX rate + 1.5% conversion fee|
|Cashback||1% on digital marketing and SaaS purchases|
|Spot or forward rate options|
On the balance, Apsire’s card offering looks more appealing, with the chance of 1% cashback on digital marketing and SaaS expenditure, and integration with Apple Pay and Google Wallet. They charge no fees on FX, but again, they do not disclose what exchange rate they use. Sometimes a fee can be embedded in the exchange rate. While Aspire’s card sounds cheaper compared to Statrys’ 1.5% flat rate fee, we cannot say for sure without knowing more about what ‘best rates’ means.
Fintechs are digital offerings that typically do not invest heavily in customer support, like Singaporean banks might, because they can win customers over with cheaper fees. Let’s see if that’s the case with Aspire and Statrys.
|Dedicated Account Manager|
|Communication Channels||Email, Chatbot, FAQ page||Email, Live Chat, Call, WhatsApp, WeChat, FAQ|
|Working Hours||9AM to 5:30PM SGT||9am to 6pm Hong Kong Time Monday to Friday (except on public Hong Kong holidays)|
On the whole, it appears Statrys is easier to contact. The big difference between the two appears to be when you are a client. Small businesses often need help when it comes to international payments. Statrys offers a dedicated account manager for every client. Aspire does not appear to be matching this offer. If you think you will need payment support going forward for your business, Statrys could be the better choice.
Pricing below was taken from Aspire and Statrys websites in May 2023. Prices can change so be sure to check each website for the latest pricing information.
Accounts and Payments
|Monthly Fees||SGD12, SGD99, or custom (depending on the plan)||HKD88|
|Receiving Funds||Local Payments: Free
|Local Payments: Free
|Sending Funds||Local Payments: Free (IDR transfers are free for now, but may have a fee later on)
SWIFT: Wise fee or USD 8
|Local Payments: HKD5 for HKD, HKD25-50 depending on the currency
Both have monthly plans, although Statrys offers one flat plan that rivals Aspire’s base plan in price. They are evenly matched on fees for receiving and sending payments. The difference will depend on the currencies you use the most in your business operations and how often you can pay locally (the cheaper option) versus internationally via bank transfer (SWIFT). It’s worth running the numbers for your business on the rates above and finding out.
|Receiving Rate||‘Best rates’ and no fees for SDG or USD8 fee||Based on the live mid-market rate + FX fee as low as 0.1%|
|Sending Rate||Mid-market rate + ‘low transparent fee’ or USD8 fee for USD or IDR4,000 for IDR||Based on the live mid-market rate + FX fee as low as 0.1%|
Statrys again has the cleaner offering, but if your business deals mainly in SGD, Aspire could turn out to be the more cost-effective offering. If you deal in multiple countries and currencies and need to manage your FX exposure, Statrys could be the smarter option, particularly with its 11-currency account.
|Physical Card||Free then SGD15 for each subsequent card||Free then HKD48/month for each subsequent card|
|FX Conversion||'Best rates’ with zero fees||1.5%|
|Cashback Offer||1% on digital marketing and SaaS spending||0%|
On the face of it, Aspire appears to offer better FX rates on its cards with zero fees charged. But to make a truly accurate comparison we would need to know what their ‘best rates’ are, as fees can sometimes be hidden in an exchange rate. We know they don’t charge for withdrawals and offer 1% cashback on digital and SaaS spending, putting them ahead of Statrys’ card offering. If your business needs to decide to increase its marketing capex, Aspire’s cards could be a good choice for your employees.
When comparing fintech in different regions, a good rule of thumb is if your business is based in the country where the fintech is headquartered, that fintech will most likely have the cheaper offering. It is not always the case, as there are many factors to consider.
Looking at Aspire v Statrys, Statrys offers more currencies, and it has the stronger FX offer. Aspire’s three currency options might be enough for your business, and their payment cards look to be more attractive. Statrys appears to have the edge on customer support with its dedicated account manager offering.
To make a detailed cost comparison we would need to know what Aspire means when it says ‘best rates’ and ‘low transparent rates’. We don’t doubt they are better than bank rates, but how much better are they? If Aspire is a serious option for your business, we recommend contacting them directly for further information, so you can run the numbers and know for sure.
If you see something is missing in the above comparison article, please let us know so we can better inform other visitors to this website. You can contact us via the website or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for your time.
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