Importance of financial inclusion between tech changes, according to MAS

Mr Ong Chong Tee,  deputy managing director of financial supervision

at Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) voiced out, “In the quest to innovate, and as banks develop the sophistication to sharpen the profile of each customer, we should not overlook the need for financial inclusion – especially access to basic banking and financial services for undeserved communities,” on a German-Singaporean financial forum at the Singapore Management University.

While the financial services proceeds to be digital-based, Mr Ong says that the financial banking industry is evolving and facing its own revolution. “This digitization of services has transformed the customer experience, say, for on-boarding or transactional purposes, but frankly, are not ground-breaking in themselves. But a revolution is also happening when new digital services or business models emerge that employ, say, AI or blockchain technologies. These can fundamentally change how we borrow, save, pay, invest or insure.”

 

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E-invoicing initiative in works to help businesses get paid faster, enable better planning

During the Budget 2018 speech earlier this month, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that e-invoices could soon come into play for SMEs in Singapore. This initiative could help establish a framework to support small-medium sized companies in terms of productivity and managing their cash flows.

As Singapore move towards the digitalisation of operations, e-invoicing can help SMEs reduce operating costs, speed up transactions, minimise disputes and reduce errors. MCI also stated that it will be different from existing, digitised invoices and scanned invoices which still requires some level of human input to process. A 2017 US Federal Reserve Study indicated that 92 per cent of e-invoices were paid on time compared to 45 per cent of paper invoices.

This would mean that with e-invoicing, SME owners have better control over their payment cycles, resulting in better cash flow management, greater sustainability and growth for the business. Continue reading