Please note: We don’t get paid by DBS to say any of this. This is an unbiased review based on personal experience.
So, you’ve got your swanky name on ACRA, registered your business, and you’re ready to collect some moolah.
Right. You’re going to need a bank account.
And for all the fancy $0 accounts from the likes of Aspire, you’re still better off with a traditional bank like UOB, OCBC, or DBS.
Too long, didn’t read?
|Fall below fees?
|DBS Business Advance Account (DBS unfortunately no longer offers this account)
|DBS Business Multi-Current Account Starter Bundle (only if less than 3 years of incorporation)
|UOB eBusiness Account
|$2.92, or $35 per year
|Yes, at $15
|OCBC Business Growth Account
|Yes, at $15
What you need
But before you apply and find yourself rejected, you need your ACRA Business Profile statement. That proves that you’re a business and that you’ve been registered.
You need a proper Unique Entity Number (UEN) that is a little like an IC number for businesses.
Without those, you would find it difficult to proceed.
Why bother with a traditional bank?
You might wonder why. After all, with benefits like:
- $0 account fees,
- $0 minimum balance
- Fancy integration with the likes of Xero,
why shouldn’t you use one of those neobanks (digital only banks, with no physical branch presence) like Aspire, ANEXT (from Ant Financial, the subsidiary of Alibaba), and Airwallex?
Funny that they all start with A.
Except that I wouldn’t give them an A.
It’s simply because if you want a Singapore government grant, you have to get a bank account from the traditional banks to get paid.
Better customer service
And because these traditional banks have a physical branch, you can actually walk in and shout at them if you’re irritated.
I’m kidding about the shouting bit.
But you get the idea.
With the neobanks, there can sometimes be quite a lot of delays with the customer service. After all, all you can do is call, email, or chat (with a chatbot).
There’s no humans to go to if you need some real, human help.
My personal experience with DBS
I personally opened the DBS Business Advance Account in June 2020, after registering my business.
It was simple, with the process taking less than 10 minutes to upload my ACRA Business Profile statement.
You do have to call them for an appointment though
But after the account is registered, its not yet opened. You have to call the Business Hotline for an appointment to walk into a branch and meet an account executive.
For me, this was quick and I got connected on the phone in less than 10 minutes. Again, it’s another reason to use a traditional bank like DBS.
When you meet the account executive, he or she will be responsible for doing their due diligence checks, to ensure that you’re not about to launder money into Singapore.
They will ask you questions such as:
- What is your nature of business?
- How much revenue are you expecting to make in your first year?
- How much money are you going to start with?
This took less than 30 minutes, before I got my account and walked out.
You can also get the Start Digital package
What we also enjoyed was being able to use the Start Digital package, which offers digital solutions at a far cheaper price.
For example, if you’re a service business like us, you would have found the Google Workspace and Xero subscriptions (at half price for a year), to have been incredibly helpful.
What is it like day to day using DBS Business Banking?
Whilst DBS does get quite a bit of flak for their slow retail banking accounts, their DBS IDEAL app was surprisingly speedy. Maybe it’s because businesses are dealing with millions on those IDEAL apps.
I also enjoyed the fact that it was clean, rather than the cluttered interface you saw on DBS digibank (the retail version of DBS for consumers).
There were only three options on the login screen, and it was clear what to do once I entered.
Now you’re legit
With the DBS Business Multi Currency account, you can now get lots of money, in many different currencies.
Here’s to your thriving business.