DBS announced on 26 February 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 digital initiatives to enable companies to fast track their digital adoption and transaction fulfillment needs in the face of business continuity measures currently adopted by most companies.
Collateral-free Digital Business Loan of up to SGD 50,000 in 24 hours
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.
Comprehensive digital “contact-free” trade financing digital capabilities introduced
To minimize the need for couriers and clients’ employees to physically submit paper-based applications at trade counters, DBS will 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 trade financing applications and supporting documents 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.
DBS will progressively roll out webinars and customized “teach-in” sessions to familiarize clients with these new digital features. 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.
SME Academy training courses moved online
DBS will also move 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.
These courses range from cash management to accounting to brand management and marketing.
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.
He added that “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.”
“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,” he concluded.