In response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Indonesian payments infrastructure startup Xendit has launched “Business for Good,” a program that aims to help 200 SMEs survive the quarantine period and its aftermath.
“We understand that businesses might go through a tough time during this outbreak and we wanted to help wherever we can,” Xendit COO Tessa Wijaya tells CompassList in an interview.
Xendit supports businesses' financial operations online by providing them a ready infrastructure to process digital payments, marketplaces, payroll and loans, and fraud detection. It utilize APIs and a dashboard UI that is meant to simplify those processes.
Business for Good will offer two forms of support to selected SMEs: grants to help businesses or non-profits go digital and begin accepting digital payments for which Xendit will waive transaction fees for the first month, or low-interest loans to help businesses cover operating expenses such as payroll costs. To qualify, businesses must have been operating for at least three months.
The idea, Wijaya says, is to offer, "fast and flexible financing that businesses can repay as they earn.”
Tailored support… from home
Xendit is also waiving fees on the use of e-wallets and VAs (bank transfers) by charities and non-profits that are fundraising to purchase supplies for medical and frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Business for Good began supporting approved businesses in May. Wijaya declines to name businesses which Xendit selected for the program, but says charity programs supported by the program include “Support Local Brands” by Tada, “Indonesia Pasti Bisa” ("Indonesia Can Certainly Do It") by East Ventures and “Masker Untuk Indonesia” (Masks for Indonesia).
While other fintech startups have introduced similar assistance programs, Wijaya argues that Xendit's is more efficient than those of its competitors. This is because Business for Good has a faster review and approval period for financial support, and customized lending solutions such as adjustable tenor, repayment structure, draw-down structure and securities that align with what the client plans to use the funds for.
Xendit also offers “one-on-one service with a financial support account manager,” says Wijaya. “We provide technical support for our clients. For businesses who have never used us before, our team provides support guidance through technical integration.”
Wijaya says that although Xendit implemented a work-from-home policy for its employees in mid-March, the company is operating as usual. Xendit's dashboard systems ensure it the company is alerted in the event of problems and staff are available to provide immediate assistance to businesses.
“[There are] no compromises on the level of service that we offer,” she says. "Our teams are monitoring performance, and responding to customers whilst working from home.”
Wijaya says the company is conscious of the need to adapt to the changing environment and is eager to be part of the solution.
“Our goals remain the same: making payments simple, which enables our clients to transact anytime, anywhere,” she says.
Investing in longer-term growth
Xendit is confident in its ability to survive the coronavirus pandemic and thrive in the years to follow. Referring to a post by company founder and CEO Moses Lo on Xendit's website, Wijaya says the startup has underlying plans that include extending its runway by removing low ROI spend, improving infrastructure and seeking new opportunities.
Since its launch in 2014, Xendit has raised $120,000 in seed funding and an undisclosed amount ofSeries B financing last year. Its investors include East Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures, Y Combinator and Amasia.
Xendit plans to invest in growth drivers and develop its business model, product and services to drive the business in the future. For one, the Business For Good program is an investment in the future, Wijaya says.
“We know that a little financial support can go a long way and with this initiative, we hope we can ease the burden of local businesses and continue to support them,” she says.