DBS announced its second round of relief measures to help businesses in Singapore cope better with the COVID-19 situation. These measures are a mix of financial relief packages and a slew of digital initiatives to enable companies to fast track their digital adoption and transaction fulfilment needs in the face of business continuity measures currently adopted by most companies.
The latest relief measures are:
- Collateral-free Digital Business Loan of up to SGD50,000, disbursed within 24 hours of loan acceptance
- Digitalisation of 11 common trade financing processes to reduce the need to be reliant on physical over-the-counter trade processing
- 50 free FAST transactions a month to promote reduced physical handling of cheques (up from 30 free FAST transactions a month)
- Webinars and customised teach-ins to train customers on how to use and benefit from the convenience that our new digital capabilities afford
- Digitalisation of the bank’s popular DBS SME Academy’s training courses so that upskilling and learning can still continue in the safety of customers’ homes and offices
Tan Su Shan, Group Head of Institutional Banking, DBS said that the latest measures are aimed at helping SMEs and corporates facing the challenging reality of the COVID-19 situation. This includes disrupted supply chains, falling customer demand, cash flow issues and difficulties in fulfilling transactions with physical documents. “Both the short-term financing relief packages and the longer-term digital adoption plans that are being made available to clients now will help businesses with their immediate cash flow needs and their longer term digital transformation efforts which should continue even in the face of economic headwinds,” Tan added.
Collateral-free Digital Business Loan of up to SGD50,000 in 24 hours
From today onwards, existing SME customers can apply for a short-term collateral-free loan of up to SGD50,000 and upon approval of the loan, can look forward to receiving their funds in 24 hours.
The collateral-free loan will also come with an automatic processing fee waiver.
This comes on the back of a dipstick poll of about 100 SME clients in Singapore to ascertain their top financial concerns and challenges while navigating the COVID-19 situation. The poll which was conducted in early February revealed that seven in 10 SMEs’ top concern during this period was ensuring consistent cashflow for ongoing operational costs.
DBS – first Singapore bank to introduce comprehensive digital “contact-free” trade financing digital capabilities
To minimise the need for couriers and clients’ employees to physically submit paper-based applications at trade counters, DBS will be the first Singapore bank to introduce a comprehensive suite of “contact-free” trade financing digital solutions, eliminating the need for the manual processing of trade financing solutions.
Customers can now access a one-stop portal through DBS’ Corporate Banking platform IDEAL to upload all their trade financing applications and supporting documents.
This will apply immediately to 11 everyday trade financing solutions such as letters of credit, import bills, trust receipts, banker’s guarantees and shipping guarantees. This means that customers will be able to submit trade financing applications online, as well as digitally upload and reload any required documents such as trade contracts, invoices, customs declarations and purchase orders. These applications were previously mainly done physically at trade counters or at bank branches.
They will also be able to get instant notifications of their application status through email and SMS.
With trade financing solutions digitalised, clients will also be able to retrieve their historical supporting documents online and submit their documentation and applications round the clock instead of relying on the DBS trade counters and branch banking operating hours.
To help clients get familiarised with these and other new digital features, from 2 March onwards, the bank will also be progressively rolling out webinars and customised “teach-in” sessions for them.
These digital solutions were already part of DBS’ roadmap to partner clients in their drive for digital transformation, but were accelerated and made available in Singapore and DBS’ key markets of Mainland China and Hong Kong to support clients with their continued business operations during the COVID-19 situation.
Promoting lifelong learning and upskilling
Even as businesses hunker down during this period of uncertainty, DBS is ensuring that the government’s SkillsFuture movement to promote lifelong learning and upskilling continues. It will do this by moving its popular SME Academy training courses online, enabling SME owners and employees to continue to upskill themselves in the safety of their homes and offices. In addition, DBS BusinessClass will continue to roll out relevant bite-sized business content through its online and social medial channels.
Businesses can access a range of training courses from cash management to accounting to brand management and marketing at www.dbs.com.sg/sme/businessclass/sme-online-academy.page
“In these difficult times, technology plays a key role in empowering “contact-free” banking and also ensuring that life goes on with as little disruption as possible. As the world’s best digital bank, we believe it is important to harness our digital capabilities and technological know-how to deliver enhanced digital banking services to our clients. This way, they can continue to run their business smoothly while safeguarding their health and well-being at the same time,” Tan said.
The latest round of COVID-19 relief measures are on the back of DBS’ first set of relief measures for corporate clients announced on 13 February which included a six-month principal repayment moratorium for SME property loans.
For more information on DBS’ COVID-19 relief measures for businesses across the region, click here.
 Import Letters of Credit, Import Bills under Letter of Credit and Collection, Trust Receipts under Letter of Credit and Collection, Banker’s Guarantees / Standby Letters of Credit, Shipping Guarantee, Purchase Invoice Financing, Sales Invoice Financing, Pre-Shipment Financing, Supplier Finance, Distributor Finance, Accounts Receivables Purchase
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 DBS BusinessClass is an engagement programme designed for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). A community that helps them grow their businesses and network across the region, it also provides the latest market trends and exclusive access to a knowledgeable community of Asia’s business masterminds.