Comparing the Best SME Banks in Singapore

Published on
May 18, 2021
Written by
Marissa Saini
Writers@Aspire
Reviewed by
Episode #
Comparing the Best SME Banks in Singapore
With the rise of entrepreneurs and small businesses in recent years, various banks in Singapore have created business banking solutions specifically made for SME founders. Let’s explore some of the best SME banks in Singapore to help you find the right one for you and your business!
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Comparing the Best SME Banks in Singapore

As your business grows with you, it’s essential to upgrade your tools, resources and systems to serve your customers better and function more efficiently as a company. This could include making changes like shifting to a larger space, replacing manual data entry with the use of accounting software, and even moving from a personal account to a business one.

With the rise of entrepreneurs and small businesses in recent years, various banks in Singapore have created business banking solutions made explicitly for SME founders.

Let’s explore some of the best SME banks in Singapore to help you find the right one for you and your business!

SME Banking with DBS

With operations across 18 markets, DBS is one of Singapore’s leading financial services providers, offering a range of personal banking and financial planning products like deposits, personal loans, investments, insurance, and refinancing. Along with that, it also has a separate corporate arm dedicated solely to SME Banking.

As a regional leader in SME Banking in Singapore and Asia for more than four decades, DBS has tailor-made solutions for founders in the SME space, including some of their most common offerings like the Business Digital Account and Corporate Multi-Currency Account. Regardless of your sector, whether it’s healthcare, logistics, or food and beverage, DBS can help you easily run your business.

Nonetheless, DBS provides a range of multi-currency account options tailored to businesses. These include the Corporate Multi-Currency Account, the Business Multi-Currency Account, and the Business Multi-Currency Account Starter, which is exclusively available to SMEs incorporated within the last three years. The respective account fees for these options are S$40, S$50, and S$10. Both the DBS Corporate Account and the DBS Business Account require a minimum balance of S$10,000 daily to waive the S$40 fee associated with each of them. However, there is no minimum balance requirement for the Business Multi-Currency Account Starter.

Best products for SMEs: DBS SME Digipay!, DBS MAX, and Business Digital Account

Pro Tip: Did you know you can open a DBS business account online? Find out which online business accounts are best for SMEs.

SME Banking with OCBC

OCBC has supported small companies across the different stages of their business growth for many years through bespoke banking solutions. Their product offerings for SMEs include digital business banking, trade financing, and green loans.

Just last year, OCBC Bank launched the SME Sustainable Finance Framework, an extension of their sustainable financing offerings to SME clients that can help them expand their ecological footprint. It provides funding to businesses in sectors such as renewable energy, clean transportation, sustainable water and waste management, and the like. As the first of its kind in the industry, OCBC is paving the way for more sustainable SME banking solutions in the industry.

The OCBC Business Growth Account serves as the comprehensive business account solution tailored for SMEs in Singapore. The OCBC Business Growth Account requires a minimum balance of S$1,000 to open, with a S$15 monthly fee applicable if the monthly average balance falls below S$1,000. Transactions conducted using GIRO and FAST are free of charge, but there is a monthly account fee of S$10, which is waived for the first 2 months.

Best products for SMEs: Business Growth Account, SME Working Capital Loan, OCBC Velocity, Go Digital

Pro Tip: The OCBC Business Growth Account is one of the few business accounts in Singapore with no initial deposit and transaction fees. Find out how it compares to the Aspire Business Account here.

SME Banking with Maybank

Apart from their commercial and global banking services, MayBank also provides comprehensive banking solutions for SMEs in Singapore and beyond. For over 50 years, they have been one of the pioneers in SME banking in the country and have made countless contributions to help this underserved sector grow their business banking solutions.

This has won them several accolades including the ‘Highly Acclaimed - Excellence in SME Banking’ award at the 2019 Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards and ‘Winner – Excellence in SME Banking’ award at the 2020 Global Retail Banking Innovation Award.

The Maybank FlexiBiz Account is a favourable choice for startups and emerging businesses, as it comes with a range of benefits, including zero monthly fees, complimentary access to business internet banking, an all-in-one business debit card, and appealing interest rates. Additionally, it allows businesses to transfer funds via FAST at $0.50 per transaction. To open the Maybank FlexiBiz Account, a minimum deposit of S$1,000 is required.

The Maybank PremierBiz Account is designed to elevate your business operations effortlessly, offering convenient digital payment options, transaction rebates, and enticing interest rates. You can save over S$1,000 annually on FAST and GIRO transaction fees by choosing this account. To get started, the PremierBiz Account minimum deposit required is S$1,000, making it an accessible choice for businesses looking to enhance their financial capabilities.

The Maybank Current Account-i provides the convenience of a Shariah-compliant checking account tailored to your business needs. To open the Maybank account Current Account-i, a minimum deposit of S$1,000 is required, ensuring accessibility to businesses seeking Shariah-compliant financial solutions.

The Maybank Singapore Dollar Current Account is a fundamental non-interest-bearing account that offers the convenience of free Business Internet Banking Services accessible 24/7. To initiate this Maybank account, a minimum deposit of S$1,000 is necessary.

Best products for SMEs: SME Start Digital Programme, BizMortgage Plus

Pro Tip: Maybank users can gain access to attractive incentives such as rebates and competitive interest rates. Find out which business accounts issue these rewards in this article.

SME Banking with UOB

Like its counterparts, UOB is no stranger to SME banking. Just last year, they were named as the Best SME Bank in Singapore and Asia at the 2020 International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards—one of the many accolades proving their efforts in helping small companies through comprehensive business banking.

Their holistic suite of banking solutions includes business accounts, property loans, investments and accounting and integrations. To further equip small business owners with the necessary skills to move forward with digitisation, they also provide business management and digital expertise through its collaboration with Google on the SME Leadership Academy—a feature unique to UOB that many local banks lack. Regardless of the nature of your business, you’ll be able to find the most ideal banking solutions customised for you.

The UOB eBusiness Account may be attractive for businesses looking to streamline their financial operations. By opening this account, you can enjoy numerous benefits, including zero fees and annual savings of over S$500 on FAST and GIRO transaction fees. There are no minimum balance requirements for UOB eBusiness Account. You'll also receive free outgoing FAST/PayNow FAST transactions, free outgoing GIRO payment and collection transactions, and free GIRO payroll transactions. Start your UOB eBusiness account today to simplify your business banking.

The UOB BizTransact Account is a premium choice tailored for well-established businesses, offering significant cost savings of over S$2,500 annually on FAST and GIRO transaction fees. With 300 free outgoing FAST/PayNow transactions and 300 free GIRO payment and collection transactions per month, it provides ample transaction flexibility at no additional cost. Plus, there are no monthly or annual account fees. The UOB BizTransact Account requires a minimum balance of S$50,000 on a daily basis, making it an ideal solution for businesses seeking comprehensive financial services.

The UOB Global Currency Account is designed to streamline the management of payments in foreign currencies, making it an option for businesses with diverse multi-currency requirements. This account offers the convenience of holding funds in major foreign currencies and even allows you to earn daily interest on your account balances for selected currencies, enhancing the efficiency of your international financial transactions. For example, a UOB USD account minimum balance would be 8000 USD  on a daily average basis.  You can visit the official website to check the minimum balance required for the UOB Global (multi-currency) Currency Account based on your requirements.  

Best products for SMEs: eBusiness Account, BizTransact Account, Global Currency Account, UOB Infinity, and SME Go Digital with UOB BizSmart

Pro Tip: Corporate clients can utilise UOB’s latest digital banking platform, UOB Infinity, for a variety of domestic and cross-border banking activities. Find out how to get started  here.

Business Account with Aspire

Apart from the banking choices shown above, SMEs can also consider Aspire, an all-in-one finance operating system that offers a Business Account along with a suite of digital products. Since its inception, Aspire has helped modern businesses with its holistic solutions. With over 15,000 clients from Singapore, Southeast Asia, and beyond, their niche yet extensive product offerings have helped small companies grow through a range of digital solutions.

Within the Aspire Business Account, users can access a plethora of unique features such as low FX fees, smart integrations, expense management, and cashback rewards—all of which can help grow their business tremendously.

‍With Aspire, setting up a business account is a hassle-free experience as it comes with no upfront costs – no monthly fees, minimum deposits, or minimum balance requirements. It's an ideal solution for businesses involved in international transactions, providing both convenience and cost savings.

Best products for SMEs: Aspire Business Account, Corporate Card

Pro tip: Aspire users can receive 1% cashback for all qualified marketing and SaaS spending. Click here to learn how to earn these rewards.  

Built for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs

Having witnessed the lack of solutions catered towards underserved sectors firsthand, especially in SMEs, Aspire has devised a solution that caters to this new generation of digitally savvy business owners. By serving clients across all sectors through seamless digital solutions, business solutions for SMEs have never been simpler.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marissa Saini is a seasoned writer and an avid trendspotter across business finance, personal finance, travel and lifestyle industries. With writing history at SingSaver, INK, and ohmyhome, Marissa leverages her broad range of experiences to simplify finance and make readers financially savvy.
Marissa Saini
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Aspire is the all-in-one finance operating system for businesses. Our mission is to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs with the financial tools they need to realise their company’s full potential.
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