DBS launches service for businesses to track cross-border collections in real time

DBS' Mr Raof Latiff said real-time tracking helps businesses improve their working capital management and fosters trust with overseas counterparties. PHOTO: DBS

SINGAPORE - DBS Bank has launched real-time online tracking of cross-border collections to provide greater digital convenience for its corporate clients.

This builds on its existing solutions that let businesses track cross-border payments online in real time.

Utilising Swift Global Payments Innovation (gpi) technology, the new collections tracking service will allow more than 240,000 corporate and SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) clients in Singapore and Hong Kong to track their cross-border payments and collections online in real time, with no additional fee.

Mr Raof Latiff, DBS' head of digital for institutional banking, said real-time tracking of cross-border payments and collections helps businesses improve their working capital management and fosters trust with overseas counterparties.

"This, in turn, helps improve supply chain efficiencies and encourages economic growth, enabling countries to bounce back faster from the pandemic."

DBS said its market share of Swift cross-border payments across its core markets increased this year by 4 per cent year on year.

Traditionally, the tracking of cross-border collections tends to be highly manual. Businesses often rely on a copy of a Swift message from the remitter, which confirms that their remittance instruction has been processed by their bank.

Companies also depend on their bank or the remitter, through the remitter's bank, to determine the latest status of the transfer across multiple banks, said DBS.

With the DBS Swift gpi solution, companies can view instant updates on where the incoming funds are in the cross-border payment chain when logged into the DBS Ideal corporate banking portal.

Besides Singapore and Hong Kong, DBS plans to offer the online cross-border collections solution in China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan and Vietnam in the coming months.

Zilingo, a fashion e-commerce start-up headquartered in Singapore, said the solution allows it to serve customers more efficiently.

Group finance director Venkata Narayana said: "With real-time tracking capabilities, we have full visibility on the status of incoming payments. This gives us greater certainty and enables us to ship our fashion and lifestyle products out to our customers faster and pay our suppliers quicker."

Swift Asia-Pacific managing director Eddie Haddad said recent developments in technology and shifting customer expectations have led to disruption.

"So now, more than ever, there is a need for the financial services community to band together to help corporates navigate the complexities and challenges of today's business landscape."

In 2017, the Swift financial service introduced a system that allows companies to track international payments in real time, and issues a confirmation notice when the money reaches the recipient's account.

DBS rolled out its live tracking of cross-border payments the next year.

Swift is a cooperative network set up by banks worldwide to transmit information about financial transactions in a secure way.

Last month, United Overseas Bank launched UOB Infinity, its digital solution that enables corporate customers to track cross-border payments and collections in real time.

OCBC Bank also allows clients to track the real-time status of outgoing and incoming payments through its OCBC Velocity portal.

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