New option for SMEs to manage forex costs

Businesses will be able to manage their foreign exchange costs more efficiently with the launch of the DBS Corporate Multi-Currency Account yesterday.

It allows businesses to transact and manage up to 13 currencies in separate e-wallets but all via one single account.

How it works is that businesses send and receive cross-border payments in different currencies. Incoming currencies are stored in respective e-wallets until exchange rates are in the business' favour. This allows them to manage their foreign exchange costs more efficiently.

In addition, there is no need to maintain a minimum balance in different currency accounts. The business, however, has to maintain a minimum balance of $10,000 in the account.

DBS cited the IE Singapore's Internationalisation Survey conducted last year which showed that overseas revenue for companies based in Singapore grew by 4.2 per cent year-on-year, of which 53 per cent of total revenue for Singapore-based SMEs came from overseas.

DBS' group head of SME Banking Joyce Tee said: "DBS' SME customers are constantly thinking about how they can expand their business overseas with greater cost efficiencies. Whether it is paying their suppliers and vendors globally or receiving payments from their customers, we hope that the account will help to alleviate some of the administrative and cost commitments in dealing with foreign currencies."

With more businesses making and collecting payments in different currencies, the account will especially benefit SMEs who previously did not have access to such multi-currency accounts to manage cross-border payments and transactions.

It is also suitable for the growing number of Singapore-based companies with overseas suppliers and vendors as they can save on administration and foreign exchange costs.

Tat Hui Foods, a manufacturer of the popular Koka Noodles which exports its products to over 40 countries, is one example.

Its executive director James Lim said that "with one multi-currency account to maintain, it is easier and more efficient to send and receive money in a few different currencies."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2017, with the headline 'New option for SMEs to manage forex costs'. Print Edition | Subscribe