A new cashless payment solution has been rolled out to help business owners who still largely deal in cash and cheques pay their vendors or suppliers more efficiently.
The solution by DBS Bank is quick response (QR) code-based and enables instant payments through the bank's PayNow fund transfer service.
It targets the largely cash and paper-based business-to-business payments and collections landscape in Singapore.
This includes the food and beverage (F&B) industry - comprising some 28,000 coffee shops, hawker centres and restaurants - where nearly nine in 10 payments among businesses are still made using cash or bank transfers, DBS said yesterday.
The new solution is now being piloted by F&B players to make cashless and faster payments to their suppliers and vendors.
Customers can consolidate multiple invoices into each QR code-based transaction, and have the flexibility to make full or partial payments for one or multiple invoices.
In turn, suppliers can enhance credit terms for each invoice instantly, and also send a QR code requesting payment from customers who are unable to receive goods in person.
One of the first operators to pilot the new platform is SG5, the main distributor for Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore and wholesale distributor of beer and stout supplies to about 5,600 F&B retailers.
Its chief executive Alvin Chua said he believes the company will save up to 3,300 man-hours a month in accounting and administrative tasks by using the platform.
The solution was developed after DBS conducted close to 20 digital workshops with F&B operators to understand their pain points.
"Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)... want to realise productivity gains by becoming more digital, but don't have the expertise or infrastructure to do so," said Ms Joyce Tee, group head of SME banking at DBS.
DBS said it plans to roll out the solution to more F&B players, logistics companies and import/export merchants by the year end.
Separately, United Overseas Bank in November last year launched a QR-based collections solution allowing businesses to collect payments from buyers through PayNow at the point of delivery. Called UOB mCollect, it looks to provide an alternative to the cash-on-delivery model used mainly by SMEs.
THE BUSINESS TIMES
• With additional reporting by The Straits Times