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TAKING HEART

Aleta Planet pledges S$200,000 annually to charities

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"When you spend money on our cards, we will take a fraction of that interchange fees and put it into the pool to be donated . . . As you spend more, the heart on the app will fill up, and it is a feel-good factor as well, knowing you have done something good while shopping," said Aleta Planet's founder Ryan Gwee.

BT_20210104_VAALETA_A_4391236.jpg
"When you spend money on our cards, we will take a fraction of that interchange fees and put it into the pool to be donated . . . As you spend more, the heart on the app will fill up, and it is a feel-good factor as well, knowing you have done something good while shopping," said Aleta Planet's founder Ryan Gwee.

Singapore

IMAGINE having a heart that "fills up" on your virtual debit card payment interface - as you make more transactions with it.

That was what Aleta Planet, a financial technology company, has done as one of its giving back projects - under its Aleta Planet Foundation.

The company is a Certified Principal Member of UnionPay International and it launched on Dec 19 its AP-1 virtual card, which allows Singaporeans and foreigners to make cashless payments through UnionPay when they are in China, without the need of a bank account there.

And a percentage of the transaction cost made with UnionPay on Aleta Planet's platform will be directed to the foundation's fund.

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Aleta Planet's founder Ryan Gwee said: "When you spend money on our cards, we will take a fraction of that interchange fees and put it into the pool to be donated . . . As you spend more, the heart on the app will fill up, and it is a feel-good factor as well, knowing you have done something good while shopping."

Many may feel that there is no correlation between fintech and corporate social responsibility (CSR), but Mr Gwee, who is Aleta Planet's chairman and group CEO, disagrees.

Besides being on a mission to help the underbanked and unbanked in some African countries, back in Singapore, Mr Gwee will pledge a minimum sum of S$200,000 from this year to be disbursed annually to charities reviewed by non-profit organisation, Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS).

As Covid-19 posed quite a bit of uncertainty, Mr Gwee decided to start the donations formally this year.

"From my past experience, there were instances where some companies which would roll back their donations when the going gets tough. I don't want to do that as the charities suffer. Hence, I observed how the company did during Covid period before making the commitment. But my B2C and B2B segments actually improved, hence I know I can commit. But in future, even if my revenue drops, this is an amount that I will continue giving."

He added that, as a donor-advised fund, Aleta Planet Foundation will work with CFS to identify existing needs of the elderly and children with disabilities.

The founder is also in talks with CFS to write for them app programmes and for the foundations who require them.

All in, Mr Gwee hopes that he will be able to partner other fintech firms, or sustainable technologies firms, and make an impact in the CSR scene.

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