Discover Why Digital Banking is Essential for SMEs' Growth and Resilience

Find out how digital banking helps accelerate SMEs’ digitalisation and supports resilience and growth in a fast-changing business landscape.

Why digital banking for SMEs is essential for growth and resilience

Business growth in the current environment constantly tests business models and adds additional pressures for business continuity and development. It demands an agile response that can only come from a digital-first approach.

According to recent research by Visa, an overwhelming 88% of SMEs are open to adopting more digital banking services.[1] Why? The key drivers are the opportunity to benefit from lower costs, faster transactions, and quicker access to credit.

Additionally, adopting a comprehensive suite of digital future-proofing tools; such as, digital loans, digital payment and collection solutions, data analytics and data protection services, are no longer just nice-to-have but essential to compete and grow.

Why has digital banking become so important for SMEs?

Much of the recent momentum reported in the Visa study is due to a sharp increase in engagement across eCommerce and online platforms during the pandemic.

Digital banking is now a key part of any SME’s digitalisation journey, particularly in the face of ongoing uncertainty, where having quick and instant access to banking tools and services for employees and customers alike, has become essential to business growth and resilience. SMEs are placing more and more reliance on digital banking to stay agile and respond quickly to emerging opportunities and challenges.

It’s one of the key reasons why DBS launched the DBS Start Digital Programme with the support of Enterprise Singapore and the Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). With this programme, DBS supports small businesses in adopting digital banking services, smart technologies, and transformation strategies to build digital-ready businesses.

Here we explore several benefits that SMEs are experiencing by embracing digital banking:

Seamless access to financing to power growth

Digital loan application processes have been significantly streamlined with digital banking - a considerable benefit for SMEs concerned with cost management and cash flow. With DBS Digibanking’s digital loan acceptance via DBS IDEAL, small business owners can access diverse loan services faster and with greater ease. That means up to 30% fewer clicks, reduced paperwork, and less hassle to access SME financing options to capitalise on new opportunities to keep the business growing. 

Furthermore, the process for opening a business account is now much more straightforward. While it used to take months to open an account, making it difficult for SMEs to access the right services on time, today a DBS Business Account, like the Business Multi-Currency Account for example, could take as little as one working day to get up and running.

Automated B2B payments and enhancing customer satisfaction

One of the key features of digital banking is that it gives small business owners access to a robust ecosystem of digital B2B procurement and payment tools to automate several business processes. It also reduces the complexity of B2B payments by offering greater visibility and control, so that business owners can dedicate more time to higher-value activities that boost their bottom line. Digital banking API solutions like DBS RAPID allow SMEs to seamlessly integrate banking services into other business platforms for smoother workflows and easier reporting, which can ultimately eliminate end-of-day processing. Such solutions also improve end-user customer experience and increase competitiveness, by offering real-time credits and delivering instant notifications.

Accelerated collections and optimised cashflow

Using digital banking tools to digitise the payments process for your customers can also go a long way to ensuring faster, transparent and efficient collections to ease cash flow. From POS terminal and credit card payment acceptance to ordering kiosk, e-commerce sites and mobile apps, SMEs can use DBS MAX to allow customers to pay instantly via credit card, PayNow or PayLah! 

Real-time insights for better decisions

With digital banking, it is now possible to check and track business finances anytime and anywhere. In the past, typically only larger companies had access to a full-suite of data and transaction monitoring services that would allow for such visibility. However, digital banking has now levelled the playing field by providing detailed real-time analytics and consolidated data to help small businesses better track their money and make informed decisions on the go.

For instance, DBS SME customers can make use of DBS IDEAL to access a single, all-in-one digital platform with comprehensive business banking services and tools. Check bank balances, review transactions, pay salaries, apply for trade finance solutions, and access FX rates all from a single mobile, tablet or desktop screen. This is further enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and insights to help with more complex business concerns such as cash flow management.

Improved data protection and cybersecurity

While many SMEs have digitalised their business to drive efficiency, increase productivity and adapt to consumer needs, they have also increased their exposure to potential cyberattacks. 4 in 10 crimes committed in Singapore in 2020 were cybercrime, and SMEs accounted for almost 40% of all cyberattacks.

To keep business owners’ data and funds safe, digital banking incorporates enhanced security with many safety standards, such as two-factor authentication, data encryption, biometric authentication to name a few. Digibanking security services can also provide instant transaction alerts to inform business owners of unauthorised transactions, warning if the bank account has been compromised for immediate action.

To further protect SMEs, DBS recently rolled out a complimentary cybersecurity training for SMEs and their employees. Developed by DBS’ technology teams, the DBS #CyberWellness programme has modules covering topics such as phishing, digital scams and password protection. DBS SME customers can also enjoy preferential rates on cyber insurance policies by Chubb.

Let DBS digibanking solutions help your SME go digital to thrive

Ready to take greater control over your SME banking and service delivery today for improved competitiveness and greater efficiencies tomorrow? DBS digibanking solutions offer business owners the tools they need to embrace digital transformation and drive future business success. Visit or reach out to ChatBot Joy to learn more about our SME digital banking services and solutions.