Apart from its strict laws and multicultural society, Singapore is well known for its established and diverse financial sector. Ranked one of the most competitive financial centres in the world, the island republic is set to become even more attractive to businesses as it eagerly welcomes the digital age. While the Singapore government pushes the boundaries with its Smart Nation initiative, banks are taking the cue and becoming more innovative with their processes. This has resulted in the rapid growth of the FinTech industry, meaning that setting up of a business entity in Singapore is now just a few clicks away.
First things first: The sign-up
Where the general experience with opening an account is concerned, DBS wins hands-down. It takes 5 minutes to apply for a DBS Business Account from the DBS site, as opposed to waiting hours in a queue at OCBC and UOB. Applying for a DBS Business Account has been one of my favourite banking experiences and it shows DBS’ commitment to being the best digital bank in the world.
Between OCBC and UOB, I prefer OCBC, as you can arrange for a meeting with your assigned Relationship Manager (RM) to get your documents done. Nonetheless, both OCBC and UOB require you to be present to sign thick stacks of documents. With DBS on the other hand, everything is done online and the paperwork is minimal. Even better, it’s system can connect to ACRA and retrieve your company’s information to autofill some of the fields. How useful!
Look through the slides for a general feel of DBS and OCBC’s digital platforms
Coming from an HR tech company, I naturally paid attention to the user interface and user experience (UI/UX) of the different platforms as well.
In my opinion, OCBC Velocity has the best UI/UX, followed by DBS IDEAL and lastly, UOB BIB Plus. OCBC’s previous design had too many unnecessary steps on their platform, and after a revamp around 2014, the whole experience has become very pleasant. The system takes you from A to B within a few clicks, whether you’re transferring funds or disbursing salaries. DBS IDEAL hasn’t changed much since it was launched, but I must applaud their new digital token product, which you can access on your mobile phone. That has saved me the hassle of carrying a token everywhere I go. As for UOB BIB Plus, the system was not intuitive enough, and that meant having to fill in many fields and select from many drop-down menus to get my work done.
How the DBS IDEAL digital token works
Cost comparison of digital business accounts
In an effort to streamline their operations and cut down on manual work, the banks have implemented a new generation of business accounts. DBS started a fully online digital business account called DBS Digital Business, which eliminates any manual transactions. OCBC and UOB followed with their own versions of digital accounts shortly after:
Making the best choice for yourself
Having tried out all three platforms, I’d say DBS and OCBC have the best UI/UX and setup processes, with DBS edging out the rest thanks to their speedy setup time and digital mobile token. I also had a pleasant experience with the customer service representative at DBS when I opened a business bank account with them. What has your experience been like so far, fellow entrepreneurs? Leave a comment below and let me know!