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First API-enabled bank feeds in Asia go-live with DBS in Singapore

Posted 3 months ago in Xero news by Alex Campbell
Posted by Alex Campbell

We’ve gone live with DBS-Xero bank feeds in Singapore to transform how SMEs manage their finances.

The technology driving this integration allows small business customers who use DBS IDEAL, DBS’ online business banking platform, to opt in to have their bank transactions imported automatically into their Xero platform every day.

This integration is especially exciting because it’s fully API-enabled. This means that DBS small business banking customers can instantly connect their accounts to Xero online without the hassle and time delays of filling out paper forms.

A recent Xero study of 150 SMEs in Singapore found that small businesses are spending an average of 15.5 hours a month manually importing and reconciling their bank statements, and sometimes as much as 40 hours.

Enabling their transaction data to flow securely and automatically into Xero each day significantly increases the time and resource SMEs have to focus on running their business.

The integrity of the data is also much higher, as direct bank feeds eliminate the hassle and costly mistakes caused by outdated cash flow balances and human error. Providing business owners a reliable, up-to-date view of their financial position in Xero empowers them to make more informed business and investment decisions.

According to the latest data from The Singapore Department of Statistics  there are over 200,000 small businesses in Singapore. They contribute 47% to national GDP and employ 65% of the workforce.

Supporting this sector is therefore vital to fuelling the growth of Singapore’s overall economy.

This is also one of the fastest and most efficient bank integrations we’ve implemented globally. On the ever changing global stage, Asia is becoming an increasingly attractive market for businesses to establish a cross-border presence.

Awarded the title of the World’s Best Digital Bank, DBS is a great partner for Xero to continue building innovative solutions for small businesses. Not only in Singapore, but to connect global businesses into the region and promote global expansion.

Putting it into practice: How Cafebond.com Grinds out its numbers with Xero and DBS

We spoke to online coffee retailer Cafebond.com as part of a three-part series on what direct bank feeds means to our small businesses.

Cafebond.com is very special shared customer, having gone through the DBS HotSpot incubator programme for start-ups.

Have you ever woken up and wished you could enjoy a perfectly roasted, Colombian espresso? Or craved the taste of that smooth latte you tasted in Paris all those years ago? Well Cafebond.com wants to let you do this in the comfort of your own home, the convenience of your own office or wherever you have a coffee machine. And, at a fraction of the cost of buying a coffee from your local barista.

Launched in June 2016, Cafebond.com is an eCommerce marketplace that lets you taste coffees from famous coffee shops around around the world. Currently offering coffee from some of Australia’s best loved coffee roasters, co-owner Keyis Ng says the business is about to offer access to coffee from London, Taipei and Kuala Lumpur. They also have plans to rapidly bring on even more global roasters to the platform.

Keyis started his career managing his own marketing agency and is no stranger to competition. ‘We were up against a lot of bigger players, but after a few years we’d won some really exciting global accounts and did work for firms like Lazada and Google.’

From marketing to coffee

But there came a turning point.  ‘I was sitting in a difficult meeting and thought, do I really want to be here in another 5, 10 – even 20 years?’. So Keyis sold his portion of the business and took some time out.

My long time friend and now business partner Eugene found some cheap flights to Melbourne. At the time I definitely needed a break,’ remembers Keyis. ‘I’ve always been a coffee lover, so Melbourne was an ideal escape!’ says Keyis.

Though they didn’t make the cut for the program first time around, Keyis and Eugene proved perseverance and hard work pay off as they nabbed a spot in the initiative in 2016.

The DBS Hotspot Program is a 3 month incubator style initiative which puts SGD 25,000 behind nine chosen start-ups and then hosts workshops and education sessions. ‘The value we got from the education and networking portion was amazing. We got access to CEOs and industry leaders who gave advice, insight and encouragement that has really propelled our success.’bank feeds

A little less finances, a little more coffee please

We update the Cafebond.com coffee lineup every couple of weeks and at any one time the team are managing 100 unique units of different product. ‘Plus we’re constantly juggling priorities from operating our logistics platform to building relationships with new suppliers,’ says Keyis.

So how does Xero help?

‘As a start up finance is so key. You need to know cash flow and where your money is. But this often gets neglected because you’re so busy and the finance bit is often the boring bit.

Xero takes so many time consuming, mundane tasks off my hands. Our invoices chase themselves and with just a glance I know where everything’s at!’

Direct bank feeds with DBS will further save these coffee aficionados time and resources as they’ll no longer have to manually upload individual bank statements. ‘We’re so excited about the launch of bank feeds with DBS. No more mistakes and more time for coffee!’.

Keyis and Eugene are big advocates of DBS. ‘DBS gives us convenience and accessibility. We need a banking partner that will work with us as we grow in Singapore and internationally.’

Going global is definitely on the horizon, and Keyis sees Xero and the integration with DBS as key to their success. ‘Because everything is in the cloud I can access it anywhere, anytime. I know I’ve been paid by wholesale customers in Singapore even while I’m in Taiwan planning our launch there.’

Bean there, done that

Coffee culture is a booming industry in Singapore, which now boasts an annual Singapore National Coffee Championship. It is also starting to become a regional hotspot for ‘coffee tourism’. Keeping fresh and innovating is essential to staying competitive in this fast growing market place.

‘Know your customers,’ says Keyis.‘Watch how they interact with your product. Even the smallest changes should make you innovate and adapt. By constantly working to understand what your customer wants, you can constantly improve and stay relevant.’

Xero direct bank feeds are available free to all DBS business account customers who are Xero subscribers and vice versa. New Xero customers who connect their DBS business accounts to Xero will get 25% off their annual Xero subscription fees for the next 12 months. New DBS customers who connect their business accounts with Xero will enjoy free GIRO and FAST transactions from 1 August to 31 Dec 2017.

For more information, please visit  www.xero.com/sg/dbs/

2 comments

James
August 15, 2017 at 12.44 am

Hello, does this feature work with DBS bank accounts in Hong Kong? I’d like to know before signing up.

Simren Priestley in reply to James Xero
August 15, 2017 at 2.17 pm

Hi James,

Right now DBS bank feeds are only live in Singapore but our teams are working together to roll this integration out across other markets, including Hong Kong.

We can’t share a time frame for this just yet, but if you’re not set up with either a DBS or Xero account it would be a good idea to do this now so you’re ready to connect straight away when we launch.

If you sign up to Xero today you’ll also benefit from our 25% off for 12 months offer, and direct feeds for your Singapore DBS accounts.

In the meantime, you can update you other statements into Xero manually – check out how to here: https://help.xero.com/au/BankAccounts_Details_ImportTransCSV

Stay tuned for updates!

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