The DBS Logistics Purchasing Card, which the bank said was an industry first, is part of its continuing efforts to support the digital transformation of the sector.
The card provides small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) with a digital, near contact-free solution to settle payments and collections at container depots, removing the hassle of the current manual, cash-based process.
The bank estimated that each driver can save around 30 minutes per day on payment matters if the DBS P-Card is made available across all container depots in Singapore. Beyond the benefit of convenience, the DBS P-Card reduces drivers’ and cashiers’ exposure to bacteria and viruses from handling cash, providing added health and safety assurance especially during the ongoing Covid-19 situation, the bank added.
Ms Joyce Tee, DBS group head of SME banking, said that operational inefficiencies from paper-based, manual payment and collection processes could hamper the growth ambitions of logistics SMEs once the Covid-19 situation stabilises.
She said: “These manual and paper-based processes are longstanding pain points in Singapore’s logistics and supply chain sector, and DBS has been working closely with industry partners to find workable solutions. The current economic lull due to the Covid-19 situation presents an opportunity for us to test and implement some of these solutions so that our logistics SMEs, which form the bedrock of Singapore as a global logistics hub, are in a better position to capture the uptick in business activity when the crisis passes.”
Singapore has been ranked by the World Bank as Asia’s top logistics hub for 10 years in a row, and the logistics sector accounts for about 7 per cent of Singapore’s gross domestic product.
South-east Asia’s e-commerce industry, the largest sector in the digital economy, is projected to hit US$150 billion (S$212.9 billion) by 2025, according to a study in October last year by Google, Temasek Holdings and consulting firm Bain & Company. SMEs in the logistics sector are looking to capture a slice of this growth by capitalising on the increasing need for transport and storage solutions, said DBS.
The bank has signed on Yang Kee Logistics as its DBS P-Card customer. The card will enable drivers and hauliers to completely digitise payments and collections at Yang Kee’s two container depots in Tuas – Pacific Trans and Container Connections. On average, Yang Kee processes over 25,000 payments each month at the two container depots. These payments are currently done manually and out of pocket with the use of physical cash.
An estimated 1,000 drivers are expected to eventually benefit from the innovation as DBS and Yang Kee engage haulage companies who use Yang Kee’s container depots.
Mr Koh Yang Kee, Yang Kee Logistics executive chairman and founder, said: “The DBS P-Card streamlines the entire payment and collection process at our two container depots and benefits both our container depot staff and the drivers who use our container depots. The DBS P-Card is just one step in Yang Kee’s digital roadmap, and we look forward to working closely with DBS and our partners to further drive our digital transformation.”
Ms Tee said DBS will be looking to engage more companies to progressively extend the use of the card across the logistics industry.