Underserved Singapore based SMEs are Now Considering Switching to Digital Banks: Visa Survey


Payments giant Visa recently published a study on Digital Banking and SMEs in Singapore. According to the report, 88% of Singapore’s SMEs are now considering switching over to an all-digital banking platform.

These findings of the study have been released at a time when the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the nation’s financial regulator, is working with virtual banks to support the city-state’s underserved SME sector. The MAS is reportedly planning to issue three wholesale banking licenses by the end of this year.

SMEs in Singapore are looking for better terms on corporate products and deals. They also want a more seamless banking experience. Small businesses, which are a major part of Singapore’s economy, are also interested in greater convenience, value, and the ability to easily track their digital payments. They’re looking for better cash flow management services as well.

Visa’s study reveals that over 50% of the survey respondents said that digital banks will offer an overall lower cost of banking (55%). Around 64% of small business owners also believe that challenger banks may offer more convenient banking services. About 53% said that digital banks could make it easier to complete online bill payments. Approximately 52% stated that all-digital banks may help them save time and effort when conducting financial transactions.

Nearly 60% of the respondents said they’re “lured” by the 24/7 availability of virtual banks. About 56% said digital-only banks could allow them to make virtual or online payments a lot quicker or easier than when dealing with a regular bank (although this might not necessarily be true).

Visa’s study revealed that SMEs have been using digital platforms and services like accounting (49%), payroll (48%), invoicing (47%) and claims to process (46%). Small companies have also been conducting significantly more digital payments, especially when paying for online subscriptions to third-party services (51%). The study also found that virtual payments have become a widely-used option for paying for utilities (50%), travel expenses (49%) and paying salaries and bonuses to their employees (49%).

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