SMALL and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) now have a wider choice in e-payment solutions with Thursday's launch of DBS MAX by DBS Bank.
This is a first-of-its-kind QR (quick response) payment solution that is mobile based and lets SMEs receive funds instantly from their customers and vendors.
An SME owner or employee first has to download the DBS MAX app. At the point of transaction, he launches the app to generate a QR code on his mobile device, which is then scanned by the paying customer. The transaction is complete when a payment notification is received.
Funds received from the transaction will be instantly credited to the business' bank account; all sales are automatically consolidated in a report at the end of each day.
DBS MAX will be made available to the bank's SME and corporate customers from Nov 26.
Jasmin Ng, group head of cash product management at DBS, told The Business Times that DBS MAX offers an easy-to-adopt and scalable e-payment solution to kickstart SMEs' digital journey.
She said Singapore SMEs traditionally face cash-flow issues due to their reliance on manual payment collection and invoicing methods, and DBS MAX overcomes this by enabling real-time e-payment collection and integrating its platform with industry e-payment systems such as PayNow.
Launched last year, the PayNow service lets consumers transfer funds to one another using just their national identity card or mobile numbers. (PayNow Corporate, launched this year, lets businesses pay or be paid using their Unique Entity Numbers.)
Ms Ng said DBS MAX's integration with PayNow was a conscious decision, as it enables businesses to provide a convenient and easily accessible instant-payment solution to their customers through the nine PayNow participating bank apps.
DBS MAX is unique from existing e-payment solutions in various ways.
As it is designed as a mobile app, it benefits businesses with no physical store fronts (such as tutors or sports coaches). It also removes the need for businesses with store fronts to display physical payment terminals at their counters, which frees up precious counter-top space.
For businesses with multiple outlets across Singapore, DBS MAX can give updates to their headquarters on funds received in real-time across the entire franchise, automating these SMEs' book-keeping process.
DBS MAX also serves as an additional, portable point-of-sale counter when SMEs get a sudden surge in customer traffic, offering businesses the flexibility to scale up their counters instantly and at no cost.
Travel agencies are expected to be a key beneficiary of DBS MAX, as they frequently take part in offsite travel fairs, where it can be cumbersome to set up and rent physical payment terminals, said DBS.
The bank will roll out this service in Hong Kong, its next largest market, by next month.
Besides PayNow, other e-payment solutions here include SGQR, which lets merchants use only one QR code label to accept all mobile payments from customers; and UPOS (Unified point-of-sale), which lets merchants use only one terminal to accept all card payments from customers.