SINGAPORE - From November, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be able to instantly open business accounts online through OCBC Bank as the bank leverages Singapore's national data repository, MyInfo.
The bank said that there is presently no digital instant account opening service for businesses in Singapore; typically it takes one day to open an account.
Going forward, with the SME owner's consent, the bank will be able to access details from his or her MyInfo profile for the application; this means that additional personal details don't have to be filled in, nor do supporting documents have to be submitted.
The application will also be assessed by OCBC's digital know-your-customer process. The service will be rolled out to two of the bank's flagship accounts, the Business Growth or Business Entrepreneur accounts, that are owned by one or two individuals. According to OCBC, 70 per cent of businesses in Singapore have this one- or two-man structure.
This comes as the three local banks have started using MyInfo to improve their service offerings. This week, DBS said that it has launched a service allowing new-to-bank and existing customers instant approval for DBS/POSB credit card applications. In addition, they can also open DBS Cashline - a credit line - immediately.
Meanwhile, UOB began integrating MyInfo into its digital application and approval processes for all savings and current accounts as well as car loans from July. It followed up using MyInfo for home loans in August and for credit cards in September.
In June, OCBC started using MyInfo to enable consumers to digitally open an OCBC 360 personal account immediately. "Since then there has been a three fold increase in the number of OCBC 360 accounts opened digitally on a month-on-month basis," said OCBC.
Ms Christie Chu, head of emerging business (global commercial banking) for OCBC Bank said: "Instant is the way forward for the industry. Since August, businesses have been able to collect funds instantly with PayNow and soon, SMEs will be able to open a business account instantly. More such projects are in the pipeline as we continue to listen to our customer's needs and then innovate in order to help them grow their businesses."
Mr Terence Yap, founder of fruit seller Fresh SG, said: "For busy business owners, instant account opening is fantastic. It is a breeze to complete and enables businesses to start their operations quickly."