25 January 18 The Business Times by JAMIE LEE
DBS HAS cut transaction costs for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as more of the SME transactions go online.
It told The Business Times on Tuesday that corporate payments using the real-time and round-the-clock payment rail in Singapore known as FAST (Fast And Secure Transfers) have been priced at 50 Singapore cents per transaction at DBS.
This is significantly lower than the typical charges ranging from S$1 to S$8 per transaction levied by competing banks, checks by BT showed.
To be sure, BT understands that fees in general can be waived by banks on a case-by-case basis, so headline fees made public by banks may differ from the actual and final charges levied on corporate customers.
More than 10 banks here accept payments using the FAST system, covering a majority of corporate and retail payments flows in Singapore. Retail payments made through FAST are free, and Singapore consumers can also register to use the free peer-to-peer mobile fund transfer service, PayNow, which runs on the FAST system.
DBS said that in 2017, nine in ten new SME accounts were opened online. This has led to a 2.5 times increase in customers using DBS's online platform to make payments to vendors and suppliers.
DBS and Xero's new payments solution will be made available to existing DBS-Xero customers in Singapore at no cost. The bank also plans to introduce this solution to SMEs in Hong Kong by the end of the year.
Joyce Tee, DBS group head of SME Banking, said in a media statement: "SMEs have so much on their plate, they grapple daily with challenges such as rising manpower costs, hiring difficulties and fast-changing market dynamics. And so, it is more important than ever that they manage their cashflow effectively.
"A payments solution like the one we are launching today means that SMEs can now have a real-time view of their cash position which in turn allows them to up their productivity and tap into the latest business opportunities."