UOB the first bank in Singapore to launch a virtual marketplace for SMEs
Harnesses cloudBuy’s e-commerce technology to help SMEs manage costs better
Singapore, 13 October 2016 – United Overseas Bank (Limited) (UOB) today announced that it has signed an agreement with cloudBuy, a global provider of cloud-based e-commerce and business-to-business (B2B) solutions, to create a virtual marketplace for the Bank’s small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers. This marks the first time that a bank in Singapore will create a B2B marketplace.
UOB’s B2B marketplace will be launched in Singapore in the first quarter of 2017. It will provide the Bank’s SME customers with a one-stop shop to view and to purchase online a wide range of business essentials, such as travel, stationery, general insurance as well as courier and logistics services. A key benefit of this marketplace is the cost savings which SMEs will be able to enjoy from bulk-purchase deals negotiated by the Bank with suppliers.
UOB data shows that the number of the Bank’s SME customers buying goods and services online has grown by more than 30 per cent over the past three years. Two in five UOB business credit card customers are now making their business purchases online.
Mr Mervyn Koh, Managing Director and Head of Business Banking Singapore, UOB, said that SMEs’ growing digital-savviness and their desire for convenience have contributed to the increasing popularity of B2B e-commerce.
“As Singapore’s largest SME bank, UOB has a deep understanding of the needs of these businesses. Through this new virtual marketplace, our customers will be able to enjoy good bargains with collective bulk purchases. This will help them to address the challenge of rising business costs. As the B2B marketplace will showcase products and services from different suppliers, SMEs will also be able to make purchases online conveniently without having to request for numerous and separate price quotations,” said Mr Koh.
Ms Lyn Duncan, cloudBuy CEO, said, “cloudBuy is pleased to be kicking off this exciting project with UOB. This online marketplace will offer customers new services that will cut purchasing costs and streamline buying processes. The fact that cloudBuy solutions have PCI DSS (Level 1) payment security accreditation1, the highest used in the payments industry, is really important to provide a trustworthy environment for buyers and sellers to come together.”