Invoice crowdfunding firm Validus offers SMEs ‘virtual credit card’

(Sept 4): For small and medium-sized enterprises, a single delayed payment from a customer can mean a major dent in cash flows. Invoice crowdfunding start-up Validus Capital thinks it has a good solution to this problem.

Ageing proprietors of heritage businesses look askance at offer of a digital future

SINGAPORE (June 9): Chen Foon Kee (photo) sits hunched atop a four-inch stool, weaving rattan threads through the wooden skeleton of a chair. As a Chinese soap opera runs in the background, the 70-year-old hammers a nail in to lock the threads in place. It will take Chen more than three days to complete this chair, which he can sell for about $420.


Rising interest rates: Boon or bane for Singapore banks?

SINGAPORE (Jan 3): Singapore banks are expected to benefit from the increase in interest rates along with the Fed’s rate hike in December.

But there is a flip side to higher interest rates for local lenders, says RHB’s analyst Leng Seng Choon.

Leng points out that non-performing loans (NPLs) rose to 12% in 1998 while the country experienced higher interest rates and weaker currencies regionally.

On the other hand, NPLs only increased to 2.4% in 2008, as central banks kept interest rates low.

Maybank offers enhanced mortgage package to SMEs

SINGAPORE (Nov 21): Maybank has launched a new mortgage facility to small and medium enterprises that offers financing for up to 120% of the value of their completed, owner-occupied commercial and industrial property in Singapore.

Known as BizMortgage Plus, the package aims to help SMEs who are facing cash flow issues by allowing them to take up a CIP loan and a combination of other working capital options such as a term loan, an overdraft, trade facilities or business credit card.

UOB’s digital efforts lead the pack but watch out for costs

SINGAPORE (Sept 19): United Overseas Bank’s (UOB) is leading the pack when it comes to digital banking among the three local lenders.

The continued investment in IT capabilities and cost rationalisation is priority for Singapore banks, notes analyst Ng Li Hiang.

UOB’s development of its own token technology for contactless ATMs and instant digital cards accords it first-mover advantage, says Ng, noting that the bank has a lead of up to 12 months on its peers in the mobile contactless payment space.

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