The most powerful fintech platform for modern businesses has partnered with Agoda to support Hong Kong-based companies as business travel resumes
After almost three years of Covid restrictions and “Sorry, you’re on mute”, Hong Kong companies are eager to start reaping the rewards of business travel once again.
From exploring new markets to developing important relationships, travel is a crucial factor for businesses to expand their horizons and capitalise on opportunities.
To help Hong Kong businesses re-enter the world of travel as restrictions ease, leading fintech provider Airwallex has partnered with the global digital travel platform Agoda to create a series of exclusive travel offers and incentives as part of its “Go Global” initiative.
Founded in 2015, Airwallex has become a significant player in supporting and driving innovation in the digital economy by removing unnecessary friction and costs that are built into the traditional financial system. From global payments to treasury to embedded finance, Airwallex offers a suite of products and offerings so today’s modern business can grow and operate at scale.
Pent-up demand for business travel: 93% of SMEs plan to travel in 2023
In the wake of Covid-19, Airwallex has committed to providing extra support to the business community. Over the past year, Airwallex has invested HK$5 million, and joined forces with a number of its partners to provide relief and support to Hong Kong SMEs and startups as they begin to recover and reopen from the pandemic.
Airwallex’s partnership with Agoda comes at a time when Hong Kong is opening up to the rest of the world. Pent-up demand for business travel is at an all-time high after nearly three years of restricted travel. According to a recent Hong Kong SME customer survey by Airwallex, 84 per cent of respondents plan to take a business trip in the next six months, while 93 per cent intend to travel in the next 12 months. Top travel destinations for Hong Kong companies include Southeast Asia (26%), Europe (17%) and Australia (9%), as well as strong demand for Mainland China, the US and the UK.
For many businesses, this year will mark the first time that they have travelled for quite some time. While the rest of the world has started to grow more comfortable with people not wearing masks and attending large group gatherings, anxiety is still high for many. It has been so long since we truly felt “normal,” that it’s hard to say what normal looks and feels like anymore.
Simplifying business travel and saving costs for local SMEs
To make things a little less stressful for its customers, Airwallex aims to ease the passage for businesses to get back to travelling with reduced fees, exclusive discounts and simplified processes.
One of the pain points around business travel has always been the costs – from the additional costs you could rack up when using credit cards to how to best track expenses. These are particularly key considerations for businesses now, as companies deliberate how much they should commit to business travel as the world opens up again.
By and large, credit cardholders tend to be charged with foreign transaction fees that are incurred in foreign countries during their travel. For every HK$100 card transaction you spend, you end up paying at least HK$3-4 in bank fees. When you consider the number of card transactions you’re likely to make during your travels – these fees can quickly add up.
Opening a business bank account is also often a tedious process for SMEs in Hong Kong, and might mean that corporate cards aren’t ready in time for an employees work trip.
The Airwallex Borderless Cards offer a simplified global payment solution to help businesses conduct international operations and transactions in more than 50 currencies across 130 countries. Business travellers can convert currencies online anywhere around the world, anytime they want, without getting charged any international transaction or merchant fees. In addition to cutting red tape and steep fees, the corporate card helps companies save time on managing expenses and offers attractive cash rebates.
Go Global, starting with Airwallex & Agoda
The Go Global partnership seeks to further simplify business travel for local SMEs and help them better prepare for their future travel plans, with exclusive discounts on accommodation bookings plus huge cash rebates.
Hong Kong companies can look forward to a 7 per cent discount on selected accommodation, plus 20 per cent cash back on airfares and accommodation bookings around the world when using their Airwallex Borderless Cards on Agoda’s booking platform. Airwallex companies can claim up to HK$10,000 with this exclusive offer, which will be credited to accounts by June, 2023.
“Being able to travel enables companies to keep up with the competition and to identify opportunities for growth. As businesses in Hong Kong re-equip themselves to get the most out of their travels, we are pleased to be offering our continued support, empowering the city’s SME and start-up community to travel and grow internationally with help from our partners”, said Arnold Chan, General Manager, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia at Airwallex.
“It is great to see businesses in Hong Kong recover from the pandemic, and to see so many that are eager to travel again,” said Giuliana Riitano, APAC Market Director of Agoda. “For many, their next business trip may be the first time they have travelled in a very long time. At Agoda, we constantly work towards reinventing the customer booking journey, and through this partnership with Airwallex, we hope we can help make their travel planning experience as hassle-free and worry-free as possible.”
To start taking advantage of the Go Global offer, businesses need to follow four simple steps:
- Sign up online to open a free Airwallex business account by February 28, 2023.
- Upload business verification documents in less than five minutes
- Register for free employee cards after account verification
- Use the new Airwallex Borderless Card to make bookings via Agoda’s booking platform through the Airwallex affiliate link
The entire process takes less than 15 minutes to complete and businesses will receive confirmation within 1-2 working days, at which point, they are ready to Go Global.
The offer applies to eligible Agoda transactions conducted between December 1, 2022 and 31 March, 2023, representing huge savings for Hong Kong businesses in the first quarter.
“We are pleased to be able to play a small part to help SMEs and startups in Hong Kong through these challenging times,” Arnold adds. “As businesses navigate how to best operate in the ‘new normal’, Airwallex is focused on ensuring we provide the best possible global payment and money movement solutions that enable long-term growth and success.”