Best Business Banking Account in 2019. OCBC vs UOB vs DBS

 
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Which bank should you open a business banking account with?

You may have just started or are thinking about starting a business in 2019. 

At the top of your head, you are weighing the pros and cons of various aspects to your business including the relatively simple task of opening a bank account.

We have compiled a useful guide and categorized these rankings based on factors that would influence your decision.


1. If your decision is based on the complexity of the application process.

DBS OCBC UOB
Single Director or Sole Proprietors Apply online with MyInfo 1 Day account opening with no meet-ups. No documents required except for ACRA UEN and personal DBS banking details Apply online with MyInfo 1 Day account opening with no meet-ups. No documents required except MyInfo login or personal OCBC banking details Apply online with MyInfo Requires CorpPass login for company and Singpass login for all directors Current Account can only be opened at the branch
Multiple Directors or Partners Apply online. Involves communication with Relationship Manager within 1 business day. Free courier to pick up documents. Limited information provided on the website. Apply online with MyInfo Requires CorpPass login for company and Singpass login for all directors Current Account can only be opened at the branch
Disclaimer *All the information is believed to be accurate; however, no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information are made. All information, commentary, recommendations or statements of opinion provided in this article are for general information purposes only. We do not claim to be authoritative

The table above illustrates that DBS, OCBC & UOB all provides an option for an online application. UOB still prefers a physical meetup for their larger Current Accounts while OCBC does not provide crystal clear clarity about the eligibility of their online application.

If you are looking for a seamless application process and are eligible for it – We would say – DBS. But if you prefer talking to a representative? You have OCBC or UOB.

Criteria 1 Winner: DBS


2. If your decision is based on the types of account available.

Currently, financial institutions find it difficult to accurately track and account for cash or cheque transactions as legitimate business transactions.

We believe the ease of using PayNow Corporate will replace cash and cheque transactions eventually. Gone are the days when credit officers will have to individually identify cheque payment or receipts.

This will reduce confusion and allow financial institutions to clearly assess an SME’s true creditworthiness.


2. PayNow Corporate may replace “off-the-bank-statement” cash transactions

DBS OCBC UOB
Accounts 1. Business Digital Account 2. Fixed Deposit Account 3. Corporate Multi Currency Account 1. Business Growth Account 2. Business Entrepreneur Account 3. Business Entrepreneur Account Plus 1. Current Account 2. eBusiness Account 3. Global Currency Account 4. BizTransact Account
Disclaimer *All the information is believed to be accurate; however, no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information are made. All information, commentary, recommendations or statements of opinion provided in this article are for general information purposes only. We do not claim to be authoritative

OCBC stands out from the other 2 banks, as they have account types tailored for businesses of in different stages. The “Business Growth” account caters to start-ups, “Business Entrepreneur” for growing businesses, and “Business Entrepreneur Plus” for larger companies.

Without going into details about the benefits of each account, OCBC scores by simply providing more options for SMEs.

Criteria 2 Winner: OCBC

*Multi-currency bank accounts and UOB’s BizTransact have been removed from the scope as it covers a significantly different context and purpose.


3. If your decision is based on the requirements of the account.

DBS OCBC UOB
Business Digital Account Fixed Deposit Account Business Growth Account Business Entrepreneur Business Entrepreneur + Current Account eBusiness Account
Minimum Balance N.A N.A N.A (0 - 6 months) $3000 (> 6 months) N.A (0 - 6 months) $5000 (> 6 months) $30,000 $10,000 (avg. daily balance) $5,000 (avg. daily balance)
Minimum Initial Deposit $1,000 $5,000 $500 $3,000 $30,000 $1,000 $1,000
Disclaimer *All the information is believed to be accurate; however, no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information are made. All information, commentary, recommendations or statements of opinion provided in this article are for general information purposes only. We do not claim to be authoritative

As you can see, there are no minimum balance requirement for DBS accounts. Minimum initial deposit varies across the account types, with DBS and UOB requiring the lowest deposit amount.

For us, we believe that SMEs will find it very difficult and stressful to try maintaining the minimum balance especially if they are a cash-heavy business. Therefore DBS wins hands down.

Criteria 3 Winner: DBS 


4. If your decision is based on the cost of the account.

DBS OCBC UOB
Additional Charges
Business Digital Account Fixed Deposit Account Business Growth Account Business Entrepreneur Business Entrepreneur + Current Account eBusiness Account
Fall-Below Fees (Monthly) N.A. N.A. $35 $35 $50 $35 $15
Account Fees $18/mth N.A. $38/yr $38/mth (First 3 months waived) N.A. N.A. (Foreign Incorporated Accounts vary)
Account Closure Fees $50 (if account closed within 6 months) $50 (if account closed within 1 year) $50 (if account closed within 6 months) $30 (if account closed within 6 months)
Over-The-Counter (OTC) Service Digital Account: $20/transaction $20/transaction 6 transactions free < 21 transactions: $5/transaction > 21 transactions: $10/transaction $20/transaction
Cheque Book Issuance Business Account: N.A. Digital Account: $25/ cheque book $25 (1st cheque book waived) N.A. Not stated.
Cheque Clearing Fees First 30 cheques/month free $0.75/cheque thereafter First 30 cheques/month free $0.75/cheque thereafter First 50 cheques/month free $0.75/cheque thereafter First 30 cheques/month free $0.75/cheque thereafter $0.75/cheque
Disclaimer *All the information is believed to be accurate; however, no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information are made. All information, commentary, recommendations or statements of opinion provided in this article are for general information purposes only. We do not claim to be authoritative

There are no clear winners in this case if you were to analyse the differences. Any choice will have to depend on the preferences of the business owner.

Criteria 4 Winner: None


5. If your decision is based on the benefits of the account.  

DBS OCBC UOB
Business Digital Account Fixed Deposit Account Business Growth Account Business Entrepreneur Business Entrepreneur + Current Account eBusiness Account
Rebates Card Transactions 0.3% Card Transactions 0.5% on foreign currency spend 0.2% on local currency spend Not stated. Rebates available for FAST transactions
Featured Benefits More value when transacting online Fee Waiver for PayNow Corporate Transactions (Valid till 31 December 2019) $0 cable charges when transferring funds to selected countries Lower rates on Accounting, Mobile plans and HR solutions 50% off Singtel Mobile Business Plan 50% of Singtel Mobile Business Plan Free: 200 GIRO Transactions 20 FAST transfers 2 outward telegraphic transfers 50% off Singtel Mobile Business Plan Free Corporate ATM Card Free Bulk GIRO Payroll Transactions
Disclaimer *All the information is believed to be accurate; however, no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information are made. All information, commentary, recommendations or statements of opinion provided in this article are for general information purposes only. We do not claim to be authoritative

We believe that the benefits provided by DBS are slightly more tangible and useful for an SME.

Criteria 5 Winner: DBS


Wait, so which bank do I choose?

As much as we would like to be quick on our feet to recommend only the best solution, our findings have shown that there is no clear winner after all. Each account stands out in different areas.

Having said that, we feel that DBS provides the most clarity on their websites even though their Business Banking account might not necessarily better.

We want to emphasize that at the end of the day, the accounts are structured in a way to occupy different segments of the market and to cater to each SME’s personal preferences.


Disclaimer: This article is based on information found exclusively on their respective websites. We believe our information is representative. However if there are any errors in our reporting, please contact ask@lendingpot.sg for rectification.


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About The Author

 
 

J. Kang is the foodie who spends most out of her undergraduate time scouting for food around Singapore Management University. The Corporate Communications major enjoys communicating with guests while she is working behind the locally-inspired bar(s), occasionally.

 
J. Kang