How many of us have encountered these frustrating situations?
Scenario 1: You are exhibiting at a travel fair and your customers have spent hours there to decide on destinations and travel packages. But before your customers can confirm their booking, they have to join a snaking queue to pay a deposit because there are a limited number of payment counters on site, and the transaction process is slow.
Scenario 2: You have a line of customers queuing at your counter to make payment for their lunch order. The bill for the customer that is currently first in line is $6.70, and you can only accept cash at your food stall. You can’t help but notice that your customer is self-conscious as he fumbles for notes and coins in his wallet to pay you the exact amount, while the hungry diners behind him look on in frustration.
Scenario 3: Your staff is at a customer appointment for an aircon maintenance service and the serviceman is waiting outside the customer’s door as the customer has gone outside to a nearby ATM to withdraw cash because he does not have enough cash to pay for the service.
These inconveniences are now a thing of the past. Launched in November last year, DBS MAX is a QR payment collection solution that enables merchants to collect from their clients digitally through a mobile app. In other words, DBS MAX allows travel agents to collect customers’ deposits on the spot at travel fairs; facilitate cashless transactions payments at F&B outlets; and lets servicemen collect cashless payments on the go. The list goes on.
Touted as Singapore’s first mobile-based QR collection solution, the DBS MAX app can be installed on any number of tablets or smartphones. Merchants can generate a QR code for their customers to Scan & Pay, and the funds are immediately credited into the merchant’s bank account.
In addition, DBS MAX is integrated with PayNow — a round-the-clock, almost instantaneous funds transfer service available to retail customers of nine participating banks in Singapore (DBS Bank/POSB, Bank of China, Citibank Singapore Limited, HSBC, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and UOB). This means business owners have access to a huge pool of potential users.
Accelerating the shift to digital
As of end-April, there are now more than 2.7 million PayNow registrations and transfers worth over $6.3 billion carried out via PayNow, according to figures from The Association of Banks in Singapore.
Riding on the increasing adoption of PayNow, DBS MAX enables the merchant to leverage the real-time payment capability to receive payments from their customers. Since cheques and credit card payments typically take two working days to be cleared, DBS MAX reduces the time taken for businesses to receive incoming funds.
Fast-forwarding incoming funds has been particularly well received by small to medium sized (SME) customers. Four months since the launch of DBS MAX, there has been a 70-per-cent rise in digital transactions across its SME customers. As of June 2019, there were nearly 2,000 merchants using the app, collectively operating over 3,000 outlets.
DBS MAX’s price tag isn’t a hefty one either. It is a pocket-friendly monthly fee equivalent to 0.25 per cent of the total funds collected through the payment collection system — just $2.50 for every $1,000 collected.
Mr Francis Looi, chief executive officer of Polar Puffs & Cakes, says with DBS MAX, the business now finds it easier to balance the books, and his employees now deal with less physical cash notes and coins, resulting in fewer trips to the bank. The household name has over 30 outlets here.
Likewise, Cristofori Music’s director Wong Mee Ching enjoys the flexibility that DBS MAX offers. She says: “We can eliminate all that clutter (of having numerous point-of-sale terminals) and save on the rental cost of physical payment terminals. The automated end-of-day reconciliation is also a key benefit. That way, our centre managers can spend more time talking to their customers and less time on administrative duties.”
For SMEs with multiple outlets like Polar and Cristofori, DBS MAX also updates the business’ headquarters of the funds received in real-time across the entire franchise.
The benefits are also significant for smaller businesses.
Director of Foreword Coffee Lim Wei Jie notes that operations at the café have become more efficient with DBS MAX as staff handles less cash daily. Having DBS MAX as an end-to-end digital solution allows them to focus more on strategic expansion, and facilitates easy setup at pop-up events.
And in the case of a large-scale promotion like a travel fair, additional payment counters can be set up instantly to reduce bottlenecks, as each staff member’s mobile device can be transformed into a payment terminal simply by downloading the DBS MAX app.
A spokesman from Chan Brothers Travel says: “We think that DBS MAX is a truly mobile solution which is not tied down by wires or terminals and allows us to be creative with how we complete transactions with our customers. Especially for events like travel fairs, where speed and convenience are key, we can deliver an enhanced customer experience so that our customers can get onboard their dream vacation even faster.”