In a first-of-its-kind collaboration in Hong Kong, DBS Bank (Hong Kong), a leader in SME banking, and Xero, a leading global cloud accounting platform, today jointly announced the launch of an innovative API-driven solution to transform how business owners in Hong Kong manage their finances, and ultimately, make payments and apply for loans seamlessly.
This landmark collaboration will save small business owners in Hong Kong a significant amount of time by allowing them to easily connect their DBS business bank accounts to Xero, so that their transaction data can flow securely and automatically into Xero each day. In less than a day, business owners will get a reliable, up-to-date view of their financial position in Xero, empowering them to make more informed business and investment decisions, without the hassle and costly mistakes caused by outdated cash flow balances and human error.
A survey of 151 small businesses in Hong Kong conducted by Colmar Burton in October 2017 found that:
• On average, Hong Kong’s small business owners spend an average of 16.5 hours a month manually importing and reconciling their bank statements
• Of these, almost a third (32%) spend between 20 and 50 hours a month manually reconciling
• Over two-thirds of small businesses (69%) cited manual bank statement reconciliation as a key challenge in managing their operations
• Of these, 19% cited this as the single biggest financial challenge facing their business
The online integration is the first of its kind in Hong Kong and follows the announcement of a regional partnership between DBS and Xero in March this year. DBS worked closely with Xero to build a completely seamless online experience that eliminates the need for SMEs to spend time doing manual data entry or importing bank transactions. SME customers using DBS IDEALTM, DBS’ online business banking platform, can opt to have their bank transactions imported automatically into their nominated Xero subscription every day, with bank feeds available the following day. Unlike other banks in the region with direct bank feed integration with Xero, which use a manual paper-based setup for bank feeds (can take up to 10 days for processing), the DBS integration has quickly become the gold standard to empower SMEs to use their data in meaningful ways.
Alex Cheung, Managing Director and Head of Institutional Banking Group, at DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, said, “DBS has been at the forefront of providing digital solutions to our SME customers. This collaboration is one of the first in an exciting series of digital solutions we are working with Xero to bring true efficiency gains and new insights to our SME customers. As a leader in SME banking, DBS Hong Kong understands the needs of SME customers. We offer customised and innovative solutions to support SMEs for sustainable growth.”
Joyce Tee, DBS Group Head of SME Banking, said, “We have made it a priority to reimagine banking, seamlessly interweave banking into a customer’s everyday life by being part of their eco-system and provide SMEs with business management tools to help them grow their business. By enabling SMEs to manage their finances in a much more efficient manner, we hope that they can better manage their business and make more informed decisions.”
Soh Fern Boey, Managing Director and Head of Global Transaction Services, at DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, said, “The collaboration between DBS IDEALTM and Xero’s cloud accounting platform is a great example of how we are leveraging technology to create a more intuitive, efficient and seamless banking experience for SME customers. There is no need to line up at bank counters or submit paper forms to sign up, as a one-time online registration is all that is needed. Account information will be available within 24 hours in Xero’s secured cloud environment, providing a consolidated financial position for decisive business planning.”
Alex Campbell, Xero’s Managing Director for Asia, said, “As one of the world’s recognised leading digital banks, DBS is a natural partner for Xero to collaborate with to develop game-changing solutions for the financial management challenges that small businesses face every day. The launch of direct bank feeds is a foundational first step to further innovative, technology solutions from Xero and DBS for Hong Kong’s small businesses."
DBS-Xero direct bank feeds are available free to all DBS business account customers who are Xero subscribers. New Xero customers who connect their DBS business accounts to Xero will get 3 months’ free subscription. New DBS customers who connect their business accounts with Xero will enjoy DBS IDEALTM monthly service fee waivers and online banking telegraphic transfer transactions fee waivers for 3 months.