SBI's plans for Singapore: Lender eyes SME businesses, set to introduce YONO SBI app
Singapore SMEs accounts for 65% of employment and contributed SGD 196.8 billion or 49 per cent to the economy in 2017.
In a bid to enhance its relationship across small and medium enterprises (SMEs), some of which have strong footholds across Asia Pacific, the State Bank of India (SBI) is planning to extend credit to Singapore-based SMEs, said a PTI report. The lender has also acknowleged competition from Financial Technology (FinTech) companies, the reason, contemplating to introduce its YONO SBI app while having opened remittance services to all bank accounts through eRemit and remittance kiosk channels in the city state.
SBI Country Head Kishore Kumar Poludasu, who recently took charge of the bank in a marketplace with global trading and financial links, told PTI, "We are working on extending credit to Singapore-based SMEs, supporting their businesses both locally and regionally." The other reasons behind this expansion move are:
1. Singapore SMEs accounts for 65% of employment and contributed SGD 196.8 billion or 49 per cent to the economy in 2017, according to the Department of Statistics here. "We see the potential of further expanding our services to SMEs," added Poludasu, anticipating SBI's growth in line with Singapore's expansion as an Asian financial hub.
2. Poludasu also acknowledged the stiff competition from FinTech but was quick to assure that banks, as leaders in the financial markets, are adopting technologies at a faster pace. The SBI plans to offer its YONO app, an omni-channel service at fingertip, to manage a wide range of financial services in Singapore.
3. He was quoted as saying, "YONO SBI has been successful in India, and we are looking at introducing it in Singapore." Poludasu said YONO app will fit into the Singapore's banking systems where advanced technologies are being introduced at faster pace, and added that Singapore regulatory clearance will be sought to introduce YONO.
4. The SBI has served the Singapore retail and corporate sectors as a qualified full bank since 2008. It has six branches and offering ATM services under ATM5 network across the island state and two remittance centers, especially serving the large pool of Indian workers at dormitories in the industrial sectors.
5. During his visit to Singapore on May 31, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched three Indian apps - BHIM, Rupay and SBI app - at a 'Business, Innovation and Community Event'. RuPay digital payments system is linked up with Singapore's Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS), allowing both to be used for payments in the two countries.
6. The SBI has also opened its ATMs for remittances for account holders. Poludasu underlined the importance of remittances, which, according to the World Bank, was India's top earnings at USD 80 billion in 2018 from the global Indian diaspora.
7. Poludasu said the SBI has served the Singapore businesses community steadily over 42 years, having started as an offshore bank in 1977, adding "We are serving the credit needs of Indian businesses and will continue to do so, but we are also scaling up our services with non-Indian businesses."