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Your business questions answered here

SME Clinic Q&A

SME Clinic – Online Banking for Businesses

Q.   My business partners and I recently acquired a regional services consultancy firm. We          have footprints in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and recently Vietnam.

There are finance managers within the respective countries who manage daily transactions and reconciliations.

The previous management team was reliant on cheques and local transfer instructions, especially in the Singapore & Malaysia offices.

As directors, we are frequently shuttling across the region. Hence, we are keen to digitise the entire platform for ease of operating, monitoring and consolidation, as well as more prudent checks and balances.

Our Singapore office has a primary bank account with a certain bank and we would like to know if there is any way to integrate all our global bank accounts into one platform.

A.   Indeed, digitisation should enhance security, convenience as well as efficiency.

Most reputable regional or international banks should have footprints in the regions in which your firm operates.

These banks provide internet banking platforms which may allow linkage of cross border accounts, hence providing a single digital platform for one view and consolidation.

Every individual profile may be customised according to the company’s operating mandate. For instance, the finance manager in Singapore will be able to access and operate only the SG current account, similarly for the finance manager in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

However, the finance director can have an overall access and authorisation for all accounts across the countries. Authorisation may be set up according to the company’s operating mandate, for example, two to approve for up to a designated amount.

Consolidated statements may also be available and may be downloaded from an online platform at your convenience.

In addition, there may also be mobile applications that allow you to approve transactions on the go. You may also request that only a single security token be used so that the individual who needs to access the various accounts in the different countries need not carry multiple authentication tokens.

Mr Ian Teo, Head of Business Banking, Standard Chartered Bank Singapore

Published in The Straits Times on 31 August 2016

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