OCBC Bank leverages Singapore Customs’ electronic Banker’s Guarantee program

Photo by Terence Ong

OCBC Bank leveraged Singapore Customs’ electronic Banker’s Guarantee program which was launched on 2 March, issuing an electronic banker’s guarantee (eBG) to Singapore Customs on behalf of vCargo Cloud, an Infocomm Technology solution and service provider that performs customs declaration services for forwarders and shippers.

OCBC Bank’s API connectivity with the Networked Trade Platform has enabled the bank to electronically transmit details of its customers’ eBG to Singapore Customs. As a result, the time taken from application – which can be done via the bank’s business online banking platform – to delivery of the Banker’s Guarantee to Singapore Customs, has gone from 7 working days to 1 working day.  

Businesses benefit from this more efficient process as it mitigates the risk and costs that result from delays and disruptions to their imports into Singapore.  

Mr Melvyn Low, Head, Global Transaction Banking, OCBC Bank, said, “It has taken some time for trade finance to be digitalized, but the momentum has picked up over the last few years. Already, close to half of our trade transacting customers who were previously sending in paper trade applications are now doing so via our internet banking portal Velocity@ocbc.

“And now, with this inaugural eBG, we have seen the end to end digitalization of the Banker’s Guarantee process, which is a milestone for the trade industry’s digital transformation,” he continued.

Lee Boon Chong, Senior Assistant Director-General of Trade, Singapore Customs said, “The electronic Banker’s Guarantee program is part of Singapore Customs’ continuing efforts to digitalize and simplify Customs documentation processes to make trade easy. It will also help us to lower the risk of fraud through guaranteed data authenticity from source and streamline our processes.”

As a declaring agent, vCargo Cloud has to furnish Banker’s Guarantees to Singapore Customs to cover the payment of duties, taxes and fees.

Tan Tian Soo, CFO, vCargo Cloud said, “Previously it took us 7 working days from application to our delivery of the Banker’s Guarantee to Singapore Customs. Now we just need to apply on Velocity@ocbc for eBG, and it was delivered to Singapore Customs on the same day. Details of my Banker’s Guarantee are transmitted to Singapore Customs electronically, facilitating a more efficient lodgement process.”

“We were also able to track real-time on Velocity@ocbc when our Banker’s Guarantee was issued. The end to end BG process was seamless, giving us peace of mind to better focus on our business,” he continued.