Singapore-based DBS Bank and cloud-based accounting platform Xero have formed a strategic partnership to help SMEs in Singapore to manage their financials and access capital.

The collaboration focuses on numerous aspects such as aligning both parties’ technology platforms to ultimately enable SMEs to make payments and apply for loans effortlessly.

As per the first aspect of the collaboration, the partners will work to link SMEs’ bank accounts with Xero’s online accounting software which will allow SME customers to access in real-time, a consolidated view of their financial accounts, including cash in the bank, from any device, anytime.

Additionally, the integration in data on one portal will empower business owners to make smarter investment and management decisions. The connection is claimed to be the first-of-its-kind in Asia and will be available in 2017.

DBS and Xero will work together to capitalise on APIs and make business-to-business payments easier.  Ultimately, the main objective of the collaboration is to enable a DBS-Xero customer to access capital more efficiently.

The collaboration will enable SMEs to grant banks access to their real-time financial data, which will offer a richer financial picture of their business. The integration seeks to remove much of the administrative burden for SMEs when they apply for bank loans.

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DBS group head of SME banking Joyce Tee said: “With this strategic partnership, we are empowering our SME clients to make better business decisions by making cash flow management transparent and simple.

“In addition, as the bank will have better access to the SMEs’ financial data, the application process for bank loans will be further streamlined and simplified. This ties back to our vision of reimagining banking to make banking joyful.”