Two years into the pandemic and encouraging signs of recovery in Singapore are emerging.
Singapore is easing out of the zero-transmission strategy and heading towards the more progressive approach they had road-mapped for mid last year – before the Delta wave.
The journey back to normal started with vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) alongside South Korea in November, which saw those fully vaccinated being able to travel between the countries on few conditions.
Omicron brings with it new challenges and more caution, but even so, Singapore continues the return to being the business hub they are known for.
More than 73,000 businesses shut operations since the initial outbreak but in that time, almost 103,600 new ones were generated, according to Low Yen Ling, Minister of State for Trade and Industry.
Named one of the world’s most innovative countries, Singapore attracts startups and enterprises alike, ready to bring innovative solutions to back-breaking problems.
RIPA Global was one of those to open its doors in the midst of the pandemic.
“Prior to Covid-19 we were SME-focused and intent on launching into the US market, with agreements signed and everything ready to execute,” says Mel Gollan, Founder and CEO of RIPA Global. “However, Covid had a different plan for us.
“The next two years were instead spent bouncing between Singapore, Australia and New Zealand as open borders allowed and as gaps in the market required.
Singapore firms, like most globally, took a financial hit following the pandemic.
“Of the S$22 billion worth of loans to over 25,000 companies through Enterprise Singapore’s financing schemes since the beginning of the pandemic – 99% went to SMEs,” said Finance Minister Lawrence Wong.
“People, now more than ever, need to spend their time on the things that matter within their business,” says Gollan. “We are here to help them do that.
“Businesses that are focused on efficiency won’t want their valuable staff performing expense reporting when they could be growing sales or delivering value to their clients,” she says.
“We are now across three countries with our connected platform front and centre, integrated into the market-leading POS companies.
The solution provides full control and visibility at every step of the process, with tamper-proof data direct from the source.
“No ‘junk in junk out’ here. Just pure, clean aggregated data, untouched by the human hand,” she says.
All receipts are permanently stored in the cloud and can be retrieved immediately.
To have such a streamlined process, the expense data must be acquired directly from the point-of-sale (POS) system.
Singapore POS provider, Raptor, is already building integrations with RIPA Expenses. The development will give them access to 5,000 merchants throughout APAC.
Raptor-enabled restaurant Dallas, a renowned business hub, will be the first to offer their customers the solution in Singapore.
Dallas Bar Owner Jason Pope says the best part is that it is fully automated and keeps businesses 100% compliant every step of the way.
“I’m joining RIPA as it solves a common problem for our guests – claiming their business expenses,” he says. “It gets sent directly to their accounts too – just brilliant.
“To be honest, I think RIPA is going to fly in Asia,” says Pope.
RIPA has engineered a solution that will serve everyone at the table, with no plans of slowing down.
“Our goal is to give back our customers their time and money – that is what I would’ve wanted,” says Gollan.