In Focus
FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore

SMEs consider switch to digital banks: Visa survey

Unsatisfactory terms on traditional banking corporate products is one reason many businesses are weighing up their options.

A majority of Singapore’s SMEs would consider switching to digital banks for some financial services they need, according to a Visa study, brought about by unsatisfactory terms on corporate products and lack of control over their banking experiences.

More than half (55%) of respondents believe that digital banks would grant overall lower banking costs, with 54% saying that these lenders would provide greater convenience, more ease in paying bills online (53%), and less time and effort in transactions (52%).

In addition, respondents are lured by the 24/7 availability of digital banks (58%), ease of making digital payments and transfers (56%), and efficiency of money transfers when receiving payments (55%). SMEs have already started using digital banks for accounting (49%), payroll (48%), invoicing (47%) and claims processing (46%).

They have also increased digital payments usage for subscriptions to third-party services (51%), utilities (50%), travel expenses (49%) and salaries and bonuses (49%).

In the long term, most SMEs are likely to use a mix of services from traditional and digital banks, particularly for loan applications (60%) and business insurance applications (58%). However, they are most likely to switch to digital banks for services such as transferring money to international accounts (39%) and foreign exchange services (35%).

Additional services that SMEs would like to see include reduced or no rates for services (72%), alerts to relevant grants from the government, support and guidance to direct them to relevant government agencies (72%) and a consolidated dashboard to manage their expenses (70%).

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