September 26, 2023

Why we built Acme: Findings from early conversations with >90 CEOs and CFOs

We’re a team of fintech professionals, former Endowus and Stripes (pictured above), who have first hand experiences of the challenges of money movement and reconciliation in APAC. Each one of us have experienced different pain points along the way: As Product leads tasked with confirming incoming transfers in real time. As engineers asked to integrate with new banks. The list goes on.

Our own experiences is only a starting point. As we embarked on our journey of building Acme, we spoke to over 90 founders, CEOs, and CFOs to understand the challenges that each company faced with their finance operations and payments optimisation journey. Some have validated our hypotheses, others have challenged our initial assumptions.

Several common themes stood out.

1/ There is no easy way to reconcile bank transactions. Month-end close is always a pain.
  • Recognizing transactions is difficult. Truncated names, missing transaction references, or incomplete descriptions makes this particularly difficult
  • Every month, at least 3-5 days are spent tying bank transactions to invoices, with no real way to automate this. Even when accounting tools provide bank feeds, it still takes time to manually match transactions to invoices
  • Reducing manual work not only translates into time and cost savings, it also creates higher employee satisfaction and productivity
2/ Bank-based payments (PayNow, PayLah!, eGIRO) are becoming much more widely accepted by businesses and their end customers.
  • There are now almost 5.5 million PayNow-linked bank accounts, roughly the size of Singapore. eGIRO was introduced 2 years ago, and businesses now want to use this to pull payments because of its stickiness
  • Accepting cards comes with a cost. 3% in cards processing costs for a business with $50M volumes annually translates into $1.5M in payment costs alone
  • If they could wave a magic wand, companies would prefer to collect funds directly and immediately in their own bank accounts, instead of waiting for 2-3 days
3/ Companies want to do more with their own banks, but integrating directly with bank APIs is still challenging and time consuming.
  • The holistic package of complementing high quality APIs with developer-friendly tools and documentation is often lacking 
  • From a project management perspective, it takes anywhere between 6-8 months to solutionize, negotiate and implement a bank integration. Reducing time to market by 2-3x is top of mind for companies
  • Post-implementation support is important but often underestimated and underprovided for by banks

We built Acme with the vision of making it easy for companies to integrate with their bank accounts, both from a product and a services perspective. We’ve been encouraged by the responses so far. Since starting the company this year, we have customers who are up and running with our reconciliation and payment collections products. 

If any of the above resonated, or if there are any other big pain points in your FinOps processes we missed out, we’d love to hear more from you. Reach out to us here, or drop us a note at