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UOB aims to help SMEs cut costs with solution

Apr 18. 2018
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THE THAI unit of Singapore-based United Overseas Bank (UOB) has released cloud-based integrated digital business solution aimed at helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to cut costs in accounting and inventory and payroll management.

The launch comes as SMEs have started to fare better in line with the improving economic conditions this year, say executives of UOB (Thai). 

The solution, BizSmart, will increase productivity in enterprises and serve as a cost-effective solution for them, Tan Choon Hin, chief executive officer of UOB (Thai), said yesterday.

UOB BizSmart consists of a suite of cloud-based integrated business applications that help to improve the performance of Thai SMEs when managing administrative tasks such as payroll, accounting, inventory and resourcing. A direct data feed to the SME’s operating accounts with UOB enables the reconciliation of their transactions, such as supplier payments and daily sales, in one click.

The Thai-language solution would free up business owners to focus more on customer services instead of back office tasks, Tan said.

Sayumrat Maranate, executive director and head of business banking of UOB (Thai), said the solution was launched first in Singapore last year.

 “It has been proven to work well,” said Sayumrat.

When an SME invests in information technology, it can typically cost the owners around Bt1 million. 

However, with the solution, Sayumrat said, it would cost Bt300 a month for subscription to a limited package and Bt1,890 for a comprehensive package. 

“Other banks provides such services but the cost is about Bt6,000 per month,” she said. “And a free service is available for SMEs that issue no more than 40 invoices per month.” 

With UOB BizSmart, SMEs can benefit from cost savings of up to 60 per cent when compared with the purchase costs of multiple software programmes, Sayumrat said.

The packages provide users with real-time information relating to payroll, accounting, inventory and resourcing. 

A direct data feed to the SME's operating accounts with UOB enables the reconciliation of their transactions, such as supplier payments and daily sales, said Sayumrat.

Executives of UOB (Thai) say Thai SMEs are the most active in Southeast Asia when it comes to investing in information technology systems.

According to the 2018 Asean SME Transformation Study by UOB, some 73 per cent of Thai SMEs are looking to increase productivity by harnessing digital technology. 

This was also their most preferred cost management method over sourcing for cheaper suppliers or reducing overheads.

Sayumrat said data coming in for this year suggests the financial condition of the bank’s SME clients has been improving due to the better economic conditions evident this year. 

She projected the non-performing loans of SMEs – now at 4.5 per cent of the total loans to such enterprises – were falling and would continue to do so.

Claus Andersen, president and managing director of SAP Southeast Asia, said that about 60,000 customers worldwide used its cloud-based integrated digital business solution.

As part of UOB BizSmart, Thai SMEs can automate their HR processes such as payroll, staff and leave management through HReasily, a cloud-based HR solution developed by an Asia-based financial technology company of the same name.

SMEs will also have access to SAP Business One, an integrated enterprise resource planning, as part of a tie up between UOB and SAP. This is the first time SAP is offering SAP Business One to Thai SMEs through an Asian bank.


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