OCBC Bank enables start-ups to open a bank account immediately after incorporation
Start-ups are now able to open an OCBC business banking account in Singapore immediately after incorporation, rather than having to wait one day.
An Application Programming Interface (API) between OCBC Bank and global information services provider, Experian (formerly known as DP Information) has made this possible. Once a business is incorporated, OCBC Bank can, through Experian, validate the start-up’s business profile issued by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
Getting a bank account is the first critical step that start-ups need to take in order to get their businesses up and running but currently, banks in Singapore typically process applications at least one day after incorporation.
This is the latest enhancement to the bank’s business account opening process. In November 2018, the bank improved its digital account opening process by leveraging the nation’s data repository MyInfo, and MyInfo Business.
Importance of Getting a Bank Account in a Start-up’s Journey
Without a bank account, an entrepreneur will not be able to proceed to other critical stages of this journey such as making contributions to the CPF Board as an employer or receiving customer payments via NETS.
Trading businesses for instance, must have a business banking account to make payment of duties, taxes and other charges to Singapore Customs.
Many businesses will benefit from this initiative. Based on data from the Department of Statistics of Singapore, more than 65,000 businesses were incorporated in the 12-month period from August 2018 to August 2019.
Mr Gabriel Lim, owner of Gabe Asia Pte. Ltd. which sells kids apparel said, “Starting a business is not easy and incorporation is only the beginning. Soon after incorporation, I have to focus on setting up my business; stocking up my inventories, setting up online payment and engaging delivery services. All of this will require us having a business banking account. It is important that this can be set up as soon as possible, to facilitate payments and collections for my business.”
Said Ms Christie Chu, Head of Emerging Business and Commercial Banking Cash, OCBC Bank, “Banks play a key role in the start-up and SME ecosystem partly because the bank account is at the centre of business operations. Given this role and our standing as banker to more than 1 in 2 SMEs in Singapore, we are in the best position to strengthen the connections among all players in this ecosystem. That is what we have done here by streamlining the account opening and incorporation process so that start-ups can begin running their businesses as soon as possible.”
OCBC Bank’s Support for Start-ups
OCBC Bank launched a dedicated business supporting the start-up segment at the end of 2018. Since then, it has been engaging start-ups to understand the pain points when starting a business.
With a track record of serving the start-up segment, the bank found that starting a business is a journey of discovery and many stumble along the way. To that end, the team is putting together a start-up guide, with practical tips from successful entrepreneurs with first-hand experience.
The guide will be accessible to all aspiring entrepreneurs on OCBC Bank’s website.