"A huge time release": How RiseUp streamlined operations with Airwallex
Discover how Airwallex enabled financial wellbeing app, RiseUp, to quickly launch to the UK while simplifying and streamlining their expense management and financial operations.
Spent on expense management a week
To open an Airwallex GBP business account
Employee and company card management
RiseUp is a new kind of financial service that makes it easier for people to manage their money. This financial wellbeing product gives users a crystal-clear picture of their finances through aggregated bank feeds, so they can see all their spend at a glance.
100 - 150 employees
UK | Israel | Spain
RiseUp, the financial wellbeing app, helps customers take positive action to manage their finances. RiseUp has positively impacted over 100,000 members globally, empowering them to feel more secure and confident in their financial decisions. The latest RiseUp’s Impact Report estimated that 70% of users had improved their cash flow within three months of joining.
Having made a huge impact in Israel, RiseUp is now bringing its financial wellbeing subscription service to UK customers.
A critical part of RiseUp’s UK launch strategy was setting up a UK bank account. “Opening a bank account in the UK was very hard for us,” explained Hila Schwartzorgen, VP of Finance at RiseUp.
The volume of paperwork and endless conversations between RiseUp and their chosen high street bank has been incredibly time-consuming and frustrating.
This roadblock was making it extremely difficult for RiseUp to access the UK market, which was negatively impacting their entire expansion and business growth strategy. Without a business account in GBP, RiseUp would not be able to scale their business.
In the process of putting down roots in the UK, the team put into action its UK launch plans and marketing strategy. This included being able to spend in the local currency quickly and easily.
RiseUp’s UK employees needed to make small but vital disbursements to support the company’s expansion. But managing the UK team’s expenses from Israel was becoming a real burden.
Since none of the UK team had company cards, expenses were a very complicated and time-consuming process, resulting in a lot of stress for the team. RiseUp needed a solution that would enable the UK team to be agile and independent.
VP of Finance, RiseUp
“Every time the UK team needed to make an urgent payment, it was really stressful, complicated and time-consuming.”
How Airwallex supports RiseUp
The global nature of Airwallex means it can accommodate complex non-domiciled ownership models. RiseUp is harnessing this capability to scale its operations to the UK faster and more efficiently.
How it works
With Airwallex, RiseUp can now manage its financial operations between Israel and the UK more easily.
RiseUp can quickly and easily transfer funds with Airwallex Global Accounts to support its expansion into new markets.
Before using Airwallex, transferring funds to the UK from Israel was slow and complicated. This was limiting RiseUp’s ability to be agile in a new market.
RiseUp can manage all its Airwallex Borderless Cards and expenses online from a single interface, saving considerable time and streamlining a once highly complicated task.
RiseUp now has an efficient expense management process. Using Airwallex, Hila’s team can stay in control of employee purchases using a single, real-time dashboard.
Global Accounts: A much quicker and easier way to launch to a new market
Today’s financial services infrastructure simply doesn’t work for digital businesses, as Hila explains; “We’ve been trying to open a UK bank account for over nine months. There’s been so much paperwork and communications back and forth.”
Despite not yet being successful in opening an account with a UK bank, RiseUp can now manage its financial operations in the UK with an Airwallex Global Account.
“Airwallex is a great alternative to a UK bank account. It took around a week to get up and running with them. Importantly, they have been critical to accelerating our global expansion. Plus, the Airwallex support has been amazing.” added Hila.
Efficient and time-saving cards and expense management solution
Managing company expenses in the home market is difficult enough, let alone doing so overseas. For modern businesses that want to launch their product to new markets, the Finance team must find a way to scale operations in a way that’s both time-efficient and easy to manage.
Airwallex Borderless Cards and built-in expense management enables RiseUp to issue multi-currency cards to their global workforce to make purchases in multiple currencies from held balances in their account.
More importantly, the RiseUp Finance team can stay in control of company and employee expenditure with limits and custom multi-layer approval workflows, giving them real-time visibility of spend across markets. On top of that, they can automatically sync expenses and receipts back to their accounting software to save time on reconciliation.
The efficiency of Airwallex Borderless Cards is having a positive impact on RiseUp’s day-to-day operations, as Hila explains; “Since we started using the Airwallex Borderless Cards, I now spend about 15 minutes a week on expense management. It’s been a huge time release for me.”
And as RiseUp looks ahead to the future, they’re keen to leverage Airwallex’s payments infrastructure, including accepting customer payments.
RiseUp’s old expense management process simply wasn’t compatible with launching into a new market.
Their UK employees needed to be able to make disbursements at short notice. Part of RiseUp’s UK strategy involved coffee takeovers - buying people coffee and asking them to talk about their financial wellbeing.
RiseUp’s UK employees can now use Airwallex Borderless Cards when spending in the UK. Hila’s team no longer has to administer complicated credit card transactions. An added benefit is that Airwallex Borderless Cards have given the UK team much-needed autonomy to make small-scale financial decisions.
Hila recognises the value that Airwallex Borderless Cards have brought to RiseUp's financial operations. “We have set different limits for different employees in the UK. This was easy, because we have full visibility of these cards online.” This has positively impacted both the Finance and the UK team. “Now, the UK team has more independence. It’s been a great solution for urgent payments,” added Hila.
Systemising their expenses has been a huge time-saver for RiseUp. The volume of discussions around expenses has reduced to almost nothing since they set up Airwallex.
VP of Finance, RiseUp
“We’ve been trying to open a UK bank account for over nine months. With Airwallex, we had a GBP business account in under a week.”
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