DBS offers digital-only account for SMEs

DBS launched a digital-only bank account service for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on Monday as a study by the bank shows that a growing proportion of transactions are being conducted online or via mobile phone.

Currently, almost 60 per cent of DBS' SME business accounts were applied for online, compared with 12 per cent in 2014.

Close to half of the bank's SME customer base have conducted transactions via its corporate online and mobile banking platforms in the past year, the bank added.

No minimum balance is required for this digital-only bank account.

Young companies, says DBS, have more than doubled from 23,000 in 2004 to 55,000 in 2014. As of 2014, these companies accounted for about 345,000 jobs, according to data from Spring Singapore.

SMEs which sign up for the DBS Digital Account and conduct their banking transactions online or via the mobile app, will enjoy cost savings compared with branch banking. The account can be opened via the Internet in five minutes.

DBS head of SME banking Joyce Tee said: "We have designed a digital-only account to give SME owners an option to keep banking costs low, especially when the operating environment has been more challenging in recent times. We are able to pass on some savings to SMEs and not charge fall-below fees."

She added: "We have also made the application process simple and convenient, making banking simpler, faster and efficient for busy SMEs."

Mr George Li, Stamford Painters' projects and innovation director, said: "The 'no minimum balance' is useful as it gives my business flexibility in how I can use my cash to develop my painting business efficiently.

"The application process was simple. All I had to do was key in my business registration number and I was able to complete the application quickly."

Local banks are seeing growth in online transactions. United Overseas Bank has a UOB eBusiness account, which offers fee waivers on its Internet banking platform BIBPlus, and rebates on payments done via electronic channels.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2016, with the headline 'DBS offers digital-only account for SMEs'. Print Edition | Subscribe