Singapore Company Incorporation with Paul Hype Page
Company Registration at Paul Hype Page Singapore

Every Singapore company is required to have a corporate bank account for its business. An upcoming new form of banks is digital banking. This is different from the digital offerings of traditional banks, in that these new banks will not necessarily have a physical presence in Singapore. Banking is an important factor in every business. Having a reputable bank assist in managing your money helps ensure that your cash flow and profits are easily cared for. Having a bank that is unable to service your needs can equate to your business failing if the bank cannot provide you with valuable support when needed. It is essential not to make a mistake when opening your corporate bank account.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is the regulatory authority for banks in Singapore. MAS regulates bank licenses and ensures that the Banking Act is properly followed by banks operating in Singapore.

Traditional banks in Singapore

There have traditionally been 2 main types of banks in Singapore. Local or Foreign banks.

Local Banks

There are 4 local full banks in Singapore. They can provide all banking services according to the Banking Act.

  • Bank of Singapore Limited
  • DBS Bank Ltd.
  • Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited
  • United Overseas Bank Limited

If you are a new start-up in Singapore and would like to have a corporate bank account within the country then any of these local banks will serve your banking needs. One of the advantages that these local banks have is their low transaction costs.

Besides, these banks will guarantee the following services:

  • Business account
  • They will provide invoice financing
  • Fx rates
  • Credit line
  • Corporate cards, among others.

Foreign Banks

There are 117 foreign banks in Singapore. These banks are further segregated by the type of banking license they possess, which determines their services or operations in Singapore.

  • Full Banks – offer the entire range of banking services approved under the Banking Act.
  • Wholesale Banks – engage in a similar range of banking activities as full banks, except Singapore Dollar retail banking activities.
  • Offshore Banks – engage in the same activities as full and wholesale banks for businesses transacted through their Asian Currency Units. The banks’ Singapore dollar transactions are separately booked in the Domestic Banking Unit (DBU).
  • Merchant banks – provide corporate finance, underwriting of share and bond issues, mergers and acquisitions, portfolio investment management, management consultancy, and other fee-based activities.

Some of the foreign banks in Singapore that have been granted or awarded the full bank privileges of Qualifying Full Bank (QFB) to operate in Singapore include:

  • HSBC
  • BNP Paribas
  • Maybank
  • Standard Chartered
  • Citibank

Digital Banks

Existing Digital Banks

In 2000, Singapore had announced its policy towards digital banking services, and had allowed all currently licensed banks to use digital platforms to provide their full range of services online. This has allowed existing banks to bring their services online. Clients could now access services that previously had to be done physically at automated teller machines (ATMs) or bank branch offices, online. This includes transfers, checking their account balance, check deposits, and opening up bank accounts.

The digital banks are equally relatively cheaper to manage. Consider the following banks against their monthly maintenance fee:

  1. Wirex Visa Card does not charge any monthly fee and supports 12 currencies
  2. Transferwise borderless also doesn’t charge and supports 6 currencies.
  3. Revolt standard supports up to 21 currencies yet imposes S$0 monthly fee. However, Revolt Premium charges S$9.99.

Digital Only Banks

An upcoming new form of banks is the digital-only bank. This is different from the digital offerings of traditional banks, in that these new banks will not necessarily have a physical presence in Singapore.

Singapore is not only the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to be issuing digital bank licenses. Japan, South Korea, and China have digital banks as well. Additionally, Hong Kong and Taiwan issued similar licenses.

What are the benefits of digital-only banks?

Some of the merits of digital-only banks include:

  • They offer better rates and relatively lower fees during the transaction process.
  • They guarantee better online experiences
  • Less paperwork makes them preferred especially during this COVID era.
  • They are less flexible with transactions.

These, among others, make digital banking in Singapore currently preferred by most investors who come into the country.

Which bank is right for you?

There are many different options available currently, with more digital-only banks to soon be operating. How do you decide which bank is right for your startup?

The main boon of a digital-only bank would be the reduced fees in their services, as they do not have to pay for the upkeep of brick and mortar branch offices or ATMs. The disadvantages would include an inability to easily withdraw cash, however, with more convenience stores offering cash withdrawal services, this could cease to be a problem soon.

However, service fees and rates are not the only important factor to decide on your banking needs. Especially so for a corporate bank account, you must ensure your bookkeeping is up to standard for your annual compliance needs. Working with a well-trained bank will ease this. The bank must also provide all the services you require for your banking needs and must be secure.

It is recommended to engage a trusted professional services firm, to advise you on the services each bank offers, and help you in deciding which bank will best serve you. Paul Hype Page has years of experience working with banks in Singapore and has a good relationship with these banks. We are well-versed in the needs of startups and will be able to identify the services you need.

Paul Hype Page’s preferred Neobank partner

Aspire is a Neobank that serves small businesses with convenient & inclusive financial services, currently operating across Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore. With Aspire, business owners can have fast and simple access to financial services for their business operations anywhere and at any time through their mobile phones. Aspire is operating under the Monetary Authority of Singapore in accordance with the Payment Services Act (No. 2 of 2019).

Opening an Aspire Business Account is free and requires no minimum deposit. The account can be opened entirely online with Paul Hype Page. There are no monthly fees, fall below

fees, or FAST transfer fees. Furthermore, Aspire also features significantly lower foreign transfer fees when compared to the banks, making their offering highly competitive in the market. More features can be found on their website:

Generally, you can settle either on the digital or traditional bank in Singapore as they will offer you the best of services for your corporate or start-up business. You can choose from the existing range on which bank account that best suits you.

Traditional or Digital Bank Singapore FAQs

Are Singapore banks safe for my corporate transactions?2020-12-22T12:02:15+08:00

The banking system of Singapore is one of the safest and well regulated globally. The regulatory authorities are taxed with the responsibility of ensuring the Singapore bank’s safety, management, and ability to meet unforeseen needs

Which is the largest bank in Singapore?2020-12-22T12:02:07+08:00

The largest bank in Singapore and Southeast Asia is the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS). It is serving over 4 million people.

What is a digital-only bank?2020-12-22T12:02:28+08:00

The digital-only bank offers consumers’ checking accounts that do not have branches.

How safe are digital banks in Singapore?2020-12-22T12:02:41+08:00

There is no doubt that security is one of the biggest challenges to the banking system. However, with the advancement in technology, you can rest assured that the Singapore bank system is working to ensure that your goods remain safe and your privacy is protected.

What is a digital bank license in Singapore?2020-12-22T12:01:33+08:00

All the banking systems and other monetary institutions are regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). As of 2019, MAS announced that it will provide digital banking licensing to digital retail banking services.

2021-06-03T15:41:28+08:00August 7, 2020|0 Comments

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