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PANEL OF EXPERTS

THE BUSINESS TIMES
OCBC
IE SINGAPORE

Editor's Pick

What should I consider when choosing a bank account for the business?

There seems to be quite a wide range of different business accounts offered by the banks. What should I consider, what fees and features should I look out for when trying to pick one that's best...
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Expert’s Take

Christie Chu
Head, Emerging Business, Global Commercial Banking, OCBC Bank

To free up cash for your business needs, start by considering accounts with a low initial deposit and low minimum monthly balance requirement. Fees are a consideration too, and choosing the right account could lead to considerable cost savings so think about what services you are most likely to use, and find out what costs are associated with it. Take payments, for example. Whether you are thinking of using cheques, or using FAST, GIRO or other e-payment modes, do ask for the most up-to-date rates.

Also of note are a bank’s internet banking platforms and mobile banking apps which are helpful tools for managing your cash flow and can save you trips to the bank. If you are constantly on the move, check to make sure that your bank’s mobile banking app has essential features like being able to view account balances and make funds transfers. Some mobile banking apps may even have additional features, like allowing you to use voice commands to initiate funds transfers and make account balance enquiries. Banks also offer other added-on services that can help you better manage your cash flow including business debit cards, credit cards, SMS alerts and e-mail alerts. Spending on business debit or credit cards allows you to better keep track of your expenses, rather than using personal cards, while alerts can notify you quickly about account and trade transactions, or give daily account balance updates.

In a nutshell, go with the bank account that gives you the most value and meets your business needs. While fees are an important consideration, it shouldn’t be the only consideration; find out what services you are getting – whether that be internet and mobile banking, or even the level of customer service you expect – and compare that against the price you are paying.