No more paperwork as SMEs open OCBC bank accounts using iPads

Office workers pass an Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) building in the central business district of Singapore.
Office workers pass an Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) building in the central business district of Singapore.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Owners of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can now open an account with OCBC Bank without signing multiple forms or filling in the same details several times.

The bank is rolling out the use of iPads to allow its SME customers to do away with paper forms.

With the digital process, opening an account takes SME owners only 30 minutes, giving them time savings of about 20 per cent.

While the traditional account-opening process required customers to sign more than 10 times on paper, as well as ensure that the signatures match one another, the digital process requires only a one-time signature.

OCBC also has access to a real-time database of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority business profiles through a service provider. This helps it to reduce the time needed for the bank's relationship managers to fill in customers' details.

OCBC said that it initiated the digital bank account opening last month (June) as its SME customers had said they wanted a more hassle-free account-opening experience that would take less time.

Ms Lyla Lin, director of Loop PR, who opened an account with OCBC last month, said the digital process was "much quicker, more convenient, and a breeze to complete".

"For most business owners like myself, making administrative processes such as opening a bank account more efficient allows me to better spend my time on running my business," she said.

Ms Christie Chu, head of emerging business, global commercial banking at OCBC, said that every one in two new SMEs opens an OCBC business account.

"We want to ensure that they have a good customer experience from the start of their banking relationship with us," she added.

The bank said that the digitised account opening is available only at its bank branches for the time being, but come next year, its business banking managers will be able to meet customers and open accounts using iPads anywhere in Singapore.