United Overseas Bank launches debit card for SMEs

United Overseas Bank (UOB) has launched a debit card that it says can help small businesses save costs on things like utilities, fuel and hotel expenses.

Unlike existing business credit cards for which businesses have to go through a credit approval process, any business can apply for the debit card.

Users will get a 0.3 per cent rebate on all spending made on the UOB Business Debit card.

They will also receive discounts of between 10 and 30 per cent if they use the card to pay certain service providers, such as courier services firm DHL and energy supplier Seraya Energy.

For a small business with an annual expenditure of $120,000, this could mean savings of as much as $6,000 a year by consolidating business expenses on the card, said UOB's group head of business banking, Mr Victor Lee.

"On top of higher labour costs and rising land prices, business-essential expenses such as utilities and fuel are also increasing and continue to weigh on the finances of our customers," he said.

"The UOB Business Debit card helps to keep operating costs down and productivity up in order to maintain profits and stay ahead of the competition."

UOB expects to issue more than 50,000 UOB Business Debit cards within the next 12 months.