DBS launches business-to-business payments via QR code

SINGAPORE  – DBS Bank has introduced a solution targeting the largely cash and paper-based business-to-business (B2B) payments and collections landscape in Singapore.

The new solution is being piloted by players in the food and beverage (F&B) industry to make cashless and faster payments to their suppliers and vendors.

Nearly nine in 10 payments among businesses in Singapore’s F&B industry are still made using cash or bank transfers, DBS said in a media statement on Monday (Jan 20).

The end-to-end platform is quick response (QR) code-based and enables instant payments through the bank’s fund transfer service PayNow.

Customers can consolidate multiple invoices into each QR-code based transaction, and have the flexibility to make full or partial payments for one or multiple invoices.

In turn, suppliers can enhance credit terms for each invoice instantly, and also send a QR code requesting payment from customers who are unable to receive goods in-person.

DBS said it plans to roll out the solution to the wider F&B ecosystem, logistics companies and import/export merchants by the end of 2020.

One of the first F&B operators to pilot the new platform is SG5, the main distributor for Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore and wholesale distributor of beer and stout supplies to about 5,600 F&B retailers from coffee shops to large chains. Alvin Chua, chief executive officer SG5, said he believes the company will save up to 3,300 manhours a month in accounting and administrative tasks by using the platform.

The solution was developed after DBS conducted close to 20 digital workshops with F&B operators to map their payments journey and pain points.

“Many SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises) we speak to want to realise productivity gains by becoming more digital but don’t have the expertise or infrastructure to do so,” Joyce Tee, group head of SME banking at DBS, said. The lender is looking to understand SMEs’ pain points and then lay the foundation for enhanced payments capabilities one sector at a time, she added.

Separately, UOB in November 2019 launched a QR-based collections solution allowing businesses to collect payments from buyers through PayNow at the point of delivery. Called UOB mCollect, it allows for instant payment and reconciliation and looks to provide an alternative to the cash-on-delivery model mainly used by SMEs.

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