Cloud accounting platform Xero has added the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) as a bank partner this week. By teaming up, the two aim to help their mutual small business clients manage their finances.
The partnership will allow small business customers who use DBS IDEAL, DBS’s online business banking platform, to opt in to have their bank transactions imported automatically into their Xero account every day. This automatic transaction data feed enables businesses to gain a holistic view of their financial standing while avoiding manual data entry.
This bank partnership is one of many the New Zealand-based company has undertaken. Xero is currently integrated with more than 80 Australian banks, 20 New Zealand banks, eight banks in the U.K., four banks in the U.S., five banks in Asia, and one bank in South Africa. Rod Drury, Xero CEO and Founder said, “We are working with more than 140 financial and fintech organizations around the world to establish a global financial web which securely opens up data flows that can help de-risk lending and enable small businesses to access much-needed capital so that they can prosper.”
DBS has more than 280 branches across 18 markets. This expanded reach will help Xero access more small business clients in the region, which experiences particular difficulty arranging direct bank feeds. Singapore requires businesses to apply via paper forms that can take up to 10 days to set up. In fact, the region seems to have a particular difficulty in this area. A recent survey of 150 non-Xero SMEs in Singapore found that small business owners:
- Spend an average of 15+ hours a month manually importing and reconciling their bank statements
- Almost 30% spend between 20 and 40 hours a month manually reconciling
- More than 67% cited manual bank statement reconciliation as a challenge in managing operations
Joyce Tee, DBS Group Head of SME Banking said, “By enabling SMEs to manage their finances in a much more efficient manner, we hope that they can better manage their business and make more informed decisions.”
Xero most recently presented at FinDEVr San Francisco 2014 when the company’s Head of U.S. Partnerships David Pollock spoke about building an API-driven ecosystem for small businesses. At FinovateSpring 2011, CEO Rod Drury debuted the company’s Business Identification solution. The company recently ranked number 16 on the KPMG and H2 Ventures Fintech 100 list. In November of last year, Xero partnered with Worldpay to facilitate e-invoicing for small businesses.