Retail and F&B SMEs helped by DBS to reduce cost and increase convenience through digital transactions
Small and Medium sized enterprises (SMEs) which make up the backbone of Singapore’s economy are increasingly turning to digital transactions to collect money from their customers.
DBS has seen a 70% increase in digital transactions from its SME customers and 25% increase in transaction value since the bank launched DBS MAX, Singapore’s first mobile-based QR payment collection solution in Singapore four months ago. Adoption of DBS MAX has been steadily expanding with close to 2,000 merchants and 3,000 over outlets across Singapore, enjoying the ease and convenience of this “plug and play” digital payments collection solution.
The Retail and F&B SMEs customers can sign up for DBS MAX instantly and collections at cashiers or outlets can be enabled and maintained on the DBS IDEAL website. In addition to store-front collections, DBS MAX is also increasingly replacing cash in B2B and B2C last mile deliveries.
Francis Looi, CEO of Polar Puffs & Cakes Pte Ltd, said that the customers now are becoming more familiar with digital wallets and so he has had to keep up with the times. With DBS MAX, it has also been easier to balance the books at the end of the day and employees have also had less cash to deal with. “With DBS MAX, my staff are happier as there is less cash handling and fewer trips to the bank to deposit money and get the right denominations for change at our outlets island wide. As a result, the Polar team can now focus more on customer experience and think up new ideas for delicious cakes and pastries.”
Bernardine Ho, General Manager of Retail, Planet Telecoms, added that DBS MAX brings more convenience to customers thus improving retail experience. “We have always believed that cashless payment is the way forward in order to remain relevant in an increasingly digital age, especially since we are at the forefront of the retail telecoms industry. DBS MAX will not only help us in our digitalisation efforts but will provide our customers with a better and more seamless retail experience.”
For SMEs adopting digital forms of payment collection, DBS MAX eliminates the time and effort in managing and depositing cash in banks. In 2015, it was estimated that the cost of processing cash is about SGD2 billion a year, or 0.5% of Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product. This is the amount that businesses collectively, especially small businesses, can potentially save.
Retail and F&B SMEs have since recognised the ease and advantage of using DBS MAX and have embraced digital collections in a big way.
In the first four months of 2019, overall cash transactions for SME customers using DBS MAX have significantly decreased by about half. This co-relates to the over four in five Singaporeans who are already using some form of e-payment, as digitalisation brings about more ease and convenience. This trend is set to continue with the increase in digital payments collections solutions targeted directly at Retail and F&B SMEs such as DBS MAX.
Jasmin Ng, Group Head of Cash Product Management at DBS Bank, said, “Cashflow is the lifeblood of SMEs. One of the key challenges for SMEs is the ability to achieve sufficient liquidity while balancing expenses. As a bank, we are constantly looking at how we can innovate to help SMEs optimise their working capital, while streamlining their collections and payables process. DBS MAX has proven to be successful as DBS has enabled SMEs to plug into the digital ecosystem in a simple, secure and straightforward manner and resolves current pain points of cash and cheques handling.”
Ng added that DBS is continually enhancing DBS MAX to meet the evolving needs and requests from customers. DBS MAX can soon be integrated into customers’ own mobile app, website or any other user interfaces with the full suite of DBS MAX functionality such as: instant notifications, consolidated credit and refunds and reconciliation reports. “This solution will meet the needs of eCommerce customers in particular, as it will provide additional online or in app payment solutions to provide payers flexibility to pay directly from bank accounts.”
With its early success with SMEs in Singapore, DBS MAX has now been rolled out in Hong Kong and India. With continued decline of the physical wallet and as Asian consumers become more sophisticated, DBS expects that more than three in five retail SMEs will sign up for the DBS MAX solution in the next 12 months.
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