The benefits of a digital business bank account

4 minutes
The benefits of a digital business bank account
In this article

In a fast-paced market where every second counts, digital business banks are the driving force of efficiency. Imagine having real-time analytics for business activity across multiple markets, or issuing corporate cards in seconds. This is the reality that digital banking brings to the table. 

Unlike traditional banks, which often require in-person visits and paperwork, digital banks operate entirely online. This results in more efficient processes, reduced costs, and often lower fees, making digital banking an economically attractive option to SMEs.

Read on to discover how digital banks can help optimise your financial operations and support your business’s evolving needs.

What is a digital bank?

A digital bank is a financial institution that operates online, without any physical infrastructure. They offer standard corporate banking services such as money transfers and foreign currency exchange, but they do so through digital applications like mobile or desktop apps. 

It’s important to note that digital banks are not the same as internet banking - the online extension of a traditional bank’s services. Internet banking still requires an in-person branch visit to verify the account owner’s identity. On the other hand, digital banks facilitate the entire account opening and know-your-customer process online, without requiring a face-to-face meeting with a relationship manager.

How do digital business bank accounts differ from traditional business bank accounts?

Besides operating entirely online, digital SME banks differ from traditional banks in the following ways:

  • Fees. Digital banks may have lower fees or no fees for certain services like opening an account or international transfers. That’s because virtual banks generally have lower overhead costs and technology that speeds up many manual processes. The savings are often passed on to customers in the form of lower fees.

  • 24/7 access. Digital banking services can be accessed any time of the day, from anywhere. Activities like generating corporate cards, which can take weeks at a traditional bank, can take seconds at a digital bank.

  • Technological integration. Digital banks can be easily integrated with your business’s accounting software or ecommerce platforms, so you can get a 360-view of all your financial operations.

The top 5 benefits of a digital business account

Digital business accounts are offered by virtual banks and by fintech payment specialists like Airwallex. Here are 5 key benefits that make these accounts an outstanding option for your SME:

It’s quick and easy to open an online bank account

You don’t need to visit a branch, speak to an advisor, or have physical copies of your identification checked. Opening an online bank account with a digital bank is a completely online process. You don’t need to go into a branch during the not-quite-business hours that traditional banks operate under, or go back and forth with Customer Support in any manner.

  Once you’ve signed up to your digital bank, you can open a digital business account directly through their app, using nothing but your smartphone, if you prefer. All it takes is a few taps, entering some personal information, configuring a few security and accessibility settings, and your online bank account will be up and running.

2. 24/7 banking, with more self-service functionality

A digital business account means you can do your banking 24/7. No waiting until the banks open, or waiting through the weekend for services to resume. You can access your account and carry out necessary banking actions whenever you need to.

And, as digital banks are designed entirely for online use, they’ve made the user experience easier, too. All the functionalities you need from a bank will be laid out clearly and concisely in their app or browser interface—including customer service.

3. Enjoy lower costs all round

Digital banks cut out a lot of things that traditional banks require to run. As such, digital banks are paying a lot less overheads. Less, or no, rent, fewer staff salaries, less costs on office equipment and utilities—all the costs of existing in the physical world.

The fact that all your money transfers, bill payments, and general financial transactions are completed digitally removes the human element, while also removing the cost of human labour. 

And, as cheesy as it sounds, digital banks are able to pass these savings on to you, the customer, in the form of lower account fees. Or in some cases, no account fees at all.

4. Enhanced security

Digital banks are built with digital needs in mind, so they take extra care with their digital security. Tools like two-factor authentication provide an added layer of safety around your banking, so you’ll always be alerted to any suspicious activity, or know when someone unwarranted is trying to access your account. And, as you’ll likely be banking via an app on your smartphone, two-factor authentication will be a breeze.

5. Better visibility and easier reconciliation

Because digital banks are, well, digital, they run purely on code. This code can be integrated seamlessly into the code of other platforms like cloud accounting software such as Xero, digital signature and contract management systems, or money lending and international trading platforms, making banking a breeze. Digital banks are streamlining how we do banking, and creating opportunities to merge financial worlds for one easier process. You get better visibility across all your business financials, and as your integrations are synced to one another, your reconciliation process can happen automatically. How do you make the most of your online bank account for your business needs?

Needless to say, it pays to set your digital bank accounts up correctly in the first instance, to avoid any future hassles. 

Get started with a digital business account

Set up two-factor authentication, and ensure a secure password

Much like your Gmail or ATO online portal identification, your digital business bank will likely have the option to set up two-factor authentication. This simple yet crucial process enables you to control who accesses your account, and minimises any potentially fraudulent or phishing activity. The authentication might be sent to your smartphone via text, delivered in an email, go directly to your app, or to a specific authentication app on your phone.

And it shouldn’t be something we need to reiterate, but it is: be sure to set a secure password for your online bank accounts. Use a unique password across all your accounts, making use of numbers, symbols, and different cases. You can condense all your passwords into a password manager app if you need to. But taking the time to create a secure password is one of the first lines of defence against fraud.

Invest the time upfront to set up your account

Make your digital business bank account work for you by taking the time upfront to set up all the necessary users, with the corresponding levels of authority. 

Then, determine which banking integrations you already use, and which ones you should be using, and ensure they can integrate with your digital bank account.

This will make your digital business account run smoothly from the get-go.

But if you want an even better way to manage your digital banking, Airwallex has you covered.

An Airwallex Global Business Account is a better banking alternative 

Airwallex is making digital business banking easy with our Global Business Account.

You get all the benefits of a digital business account, but with the added benefits and features that are built for a global scale, all with zero monthly fees and no signup fees.

With Airwallex, SMEs in Singapore can:

  • Create a digital business account, and get up and running on the same day

  • Open  foreign currency accounts and get local bank details in up to 23+ currencies, with zero monthly fees

  • Make same-day international payments and transfers

  • Save on FX with market-leading FX rates which are  better than what you receive from the big banks, which typically charge around a 3-4% margin

  • Use multi-currency virtual payment cards to empower your team to make purchase decisions, while still maintaining control and oversight

  • Streamline your purchasing and accounting, by integrating your payments with global online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Shopify, and Paypal, or directly to your Xero account, in multiple currencies

What types of Singapore SMEs can benefit from a digital business account?

Singapore SMEs across industries can reap significant benefits from the Airwallex business account. Here are some examples:

  • eCommerce retailers. Besides saving on forex fees when paying overseas suppliers, Airwallex also lets you accept a wide array of local and global payment methods. Reduce friction and encourage checkout by offering payment options your customers prefer, in their local currency.

  • Service providers. Whether it’s a marketing agency or consultancy, Airwallex streamlines the invoicing process for global clients. The multi-currency Global Accounts, which are available in 23+ currencies (including USD, EUR, and GBP), come with local bank details that you can add to your invoice. This allows you to accept their local currencies without unnecessary conversion fees. Make the accounts receivables process even more seamless by generating secure payment links, which you can integrate with your accounting software for instant reconciliation.

  • Wholesalers. Manufacturing and wholesale SMEs save time and money with Airwallex’s multi-currency Global Accounts. These accounts let SMEs pay overseas suppliers and staff like a local business - payments arrive in 1-2 business days, and incur lower transfer fees.

  • Travel. SMEs in the travel industry work closely with overseas vendors, which exposes their margins to SWIFT fees and forex risk. The Airwallex business account helps them avoid cross-border fees and hidden bank charges, while offering market-leading foreign exchange rates.

Ready to see the benefits of digital banking, without the digital bank? Open an Airwallex account today to get started.

Open a global multi currency account for free in Singapore

Back to blog


Subscribe for our latest news and updates

Related Posts

  7 best cross payment services & solutions in 2024
Business tipsGuides

7 best cross payment services & solutions in 2024

Shermaine Tan

8 min

DBS international money transfer: Fees, rates, and process explained for businesses
Shermaine Tan

8 min

OCBC business banking: Business account for SMEs - Complete guide
Shermaine Tan

8 min

Watch a 3-minute online demo

Enter your details below to watch the demo:

Empowering businesses to grow globally.

Open an account for free