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Singapore starting to take off

Singapore is currently experiencing some great traction in the Xero ecosystem. A new Add-on payroll partner, SimplePay, is launching their product into Singapore and we are close to launching bank feeds via Yodlee for Singapore banks.

Simplepay makes Payroll easier

SimplePay is a cloud payroll solution company that started out in South Africa and then released its product for neighboring Botswana. It has long recognised the need for country specific payroll solutions. It has a product in development for the UK and has now released its product into Singapore ready for Jan 1 – the start of the Singapore financial year.

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While the functionality of payroll is similar worldwide, the different compliance requirements of each country alters the product somewhat. In Singapore’s case, there’s no PAYE, instead a raft of payroll statutory contributions or levies to various funds to calculate.

SimplePay found Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) to be fairly efficient in obtaining the information they need to become compliant, and have now received approval from IRAS for e-submission of employment income. The product has been tested by users while in beta, with some customers using it for their full payroll solution even prior to it going fully live. As a special introductory offer, sign up to SimplePay and enter your chart of accounts before the end of December and you won’t pay anything until February.

Yodlee bank feeds on the horizon

Bank feeds via Yodlee will also become available for many Singapore banks. We have  dedicated teams working in both the Xero and Yodlee office to enable bank feeds where direct bank feeds are unavailable. Before this increased co-operation, we had no say as to what banks Yodlee would set up feeds for, but we are now able to request Yodlee feeds based on customer demand.

Enabling Singapore bank feeds is the first big project as a result of this co-operation and they are now at the beta testing stage, due to go live in the New Year.

I encouraged Singapore accounting partners to use the beta feeds, not only to give those partners an edge in their business, but as a way of making sure Yodlee has a lot of test data. Currently  Xero is seeing beta data from OCBC Business Banking and DBS. The beta stage of feeds is open to everyone and if you’re Singapore based you can see if your bank is supported by enabling the bank feeds on your bank account. If your bank hasn’t got feeds enabled, ask them to  become part of the Xero movement by contacting your  account manager or emailing partners@xero.com.

Based on our other markets, foundation developments like this are critical for gaining traction, so it’s great to see this foothold in Singapore. Here’s to a great 2014!

 

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26 comments

Samson
17 December 2013 #

Good to hear about Xero gaining traction in Singapore. I hope Xero is also pursuing market in Indonesia. There is a huge opportunity there because of the population and strong internet penetration.

Kim
31 December 2013 #

I agree with Samson. I hope Xero is looking into expanding in Indonesia.

Lyon
2 January 2014 #

SG Bank feeds are great news. We currently do this manually with our DBS Corporate IDEAL exports. I don’t think DBS Corporate bank accounts are supported or part of this beta? I see only DBS (SG) which appears to be requesting for DBS for Personal account login and pin.

Johnny MacAvoy
10 January 2014 #

We’re not actively targeting Indonesia at the moment but we’re seeing more activity from local partners so the word is spreading. In the meantime, the doors are always open to new partners from any geography.

Lyon, this particular version of the feed wasn’t in the initial builds. We can look to get it added in the next wave of new builds. Worth noting that we don’t typically build too many commercial banking or corporate banking feeds as most of customers would only have personal or small business accounts.

Lyon
13 January 2014 #

Thanks Johnny.

We’re a small business entity and what we’re using is essentially for SMEs. I can’t think of any small business or private limited entity using their personal banking accounts. Needless to say we appreciate support for this soon! it’s not a deal-breaker for us since manual imports work quite fine.

Francis
28 January 2014 #

Johnny,

Small businesses don’t use personal accounts in Singapore. Even a sole proprietorship generally uses a small business bank account, specifically for the business. I need the DBS Business Banking Feed, I hope you can get that up soon as it will save us a lot of time.

Thanks.

Josh
28 January 2014 #

Super disappointed to know that Xero still doesn’t support automatic feed for DBS business accounts. Not even in the list of Beta Feeds. Been waiting for YEARS since Xero launched. Guess it’s not going to happen.

Scott
2 February 2014 #

It has passed January already. Has Yodlee launched its bank feeds for Singapore yet? I can’t seem to connect to OCBC bank.

Johnny MacAvoy
7 February 2014 #

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Please submit your bank feed requests to bankfeeds@xero.com and we’ll investigate what we can do to help out.

@Scott Not yet. Hang in there – it’ll come shortly!

Michael
20 March 2014 #

I am really frustrated that a very large and business friendly bank like OCBC doesn’t yet have data feeds. The whole point of Xero is time saving and removal of data entry staff. Here I am doing data entry because Xero can’t get a data feed from OCBC. Why?
It’s not that hard and you are dealing with a first world country that is using cutting edge technology daily.

Michael
10 April 2014 #

Still frustrated with lack of OCBC data feed.
Beginning to wonder if data feed in Singapore is just a con.
At this rate it would have been more efficient to use MYOB or Banklink.

Johnny MacAvoy
15 April 2014 #

While we were very happy to see our first Singapore payroll add-on partner SimplePay successfully launch their product to market, we’ve found that setting up bank feeds in Singapore has been a lengthier task than we anticipated. We’re working with our in-market partners to help accelerate the process. I know this delay is frustrating but please hang in there, we’re doing what we can to get them sorted.

Michael B
5 May 2014 #

Very happy to hear about the import for OCBC. I have been doing manual imports to date, which is a bit painful.

Can I check that the feed is being built for OCBC Business (SG) – not OCBC personal accounts. As per the comments above regarding DBS, it is not possible for an SME to use a personal bank account in Singapore.

I do understand you said iut was taking longer than expected …. is there an ETA? Where do we look/sign up to be notified of progress/release dates?

Michael F
6 May 2014 #

I want to second comments made by Lyon and Michael B, the feeds are not really going to be useful if they are not for corporate accounts since even the smallest SME uses a corporate bank account here.
This article suggests that the hold up is MAS, not Yodlee or Xero: http://sbr.com.sg/financial-services/commentary/what-singapore-bank-feeds-are-all-about
Is this true?

HSM
21 July 2014 #

Can Xero comment on the sbr article raised by Michael F?

When is the feed expected to be ready?
Feeling the pressure with all the noise about PIC and productivity when a massive chunk of staff time is spend doing…DATA ENTRY and not once but MULTIPLE TIMES OF DATA ENTRY why?

No data feed and cannot connect directly to the banks

Sometimes I cannot believe that the Singapore bank feed issue is still around after over a decade since adoption by other countries.

aden
5 September 2014 #

Further to Josh’s comment, I concur that DBS business accounts are more important than personal accounts for Xero users. This needs to be addressed ASAP.

Matt Vickers
10 September 2014 #

Hi all – Yodlee is still in the process of developing support for some of these banks. We appreciate everyone’s help thus far.

Lee
7 October 2014 #

Can you please supply an ETA on the OCBC bank feed.
A date would be appricited instead of “coming soon”
or if this is not happening a straight answer of NO would also be appreciated so other options can be looked at.

Andrea Silvers
14 October 2014 #

Hi Lee – Yodlee have finished the OCBC Personal Credit Card feed, and this is up and running in Xero.
They’re still working on feeds for personal and business bank accounts, and we can’t provide a timeframe at this stage.

Anne-Laure Bouhadef
24 October 2014 #

Hello , Are feeds available for DBS at this date ? I must admit that converting DBS data in CSV is proving a struggle… DBS online banking services do not give you a right away answer when calling…

Joe Blogs
27 October 2014 #

We use Xero for our startup and are prepared to change banks in order to gain access to bank feeds. Which banks in Singapore, if any, provide feeds now? If none, and you had to guess, which bank is the most likely to be first to release it? Or is it impossible to say, because MAS is holding everything up?

Mark Tobin
4 January 2015 #

Hi Xero

Can you please provide an update on where this project is at? The first fanfare post was over a year ago now and from reading the posts it look like it is still not off the ground. Can you please advise if you are also actively engaged with UOB Business banking? Also what exactly is causing the holdup? is it regulatory or technical?

Matt Vickers
9 January 2015 #

Hi @Mark, the issues are primarily technical. Most of the Singapore banks use some form of multi-factor authentication which complicates the work Yodlee has to do to build support. The banks are not assisting at all. The best way to help is to regularly attempt to refresh the feeds within Xero.

Waki
14 January 2015 #

Hi, I am comparing accounting apps at this moment. Does Xero generate a financial report which is compliant with Singapore accounting standard (so that it can be submitted to ACRA without much of adjustment)? I appreciate your response.

Johnny MacAvoy
15 January 2015 #

Hi Waki, our Sales Tax Report is regionally agnostic (generic). You’d need to manipulate the formatting prior to making a submission to ACRA. No plans to address this just yet but doesn’t seem to be a major task. I’d suggest heading into Xero and exporting the Sales Tax Report and comparing with ACRA requirements or contacting a local Xero Partner who’ll do it for you (head to xero.com > ‘More’ > ‘Find Accountants & Bookkeepers’).

Brent Angus
27 January 2015 #

Hi,
juat setting up the accounts and it said DBS SG was supported, however it doesn’t work the MFA token gives us 8 digits and the entry only allows for 6.
I had assumed this was up and running because it said the feed was there, but it appears not….
any update appreciated
thanks

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