Driving Rapid Innovation in Asia

In commercialising its suite of API solutions, DBS is co-creating with corporate treasurers to transform business models and drive strategic advantages, says John Laurens, the bank’s Head of Global Transaction Services.

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For corporate treasurers in Asia, banking solutions that leverage application programminginterfaces (APIs) are the holy grail of transaction banking.

The appeal is in the access to real-time banking capabilities and flexible connectivity solutions that finance teams need every day to optimise efficiency, transparency and control. Using APIs, treasurers can ultimately embed innovation into their processes, systems and strategy.

Foreseeing the game-changing impact of these benefits, DBS developed a suite of over 100 API solutions for corporates and SMEs. Named DBS RAPID (Real-time API by DBS), it includes banking services across information reporting, transactional capabilities and workflow solutions that companies can integrate into their platforms and processes.

Transforming business models

More and more companies are seeing the benefits of digitalisation with the use of API solutions, thereby leveraging these solutions to deliver improved client experiences, drive new revenue streams and disrupt the industry.

John Laurens, DBS
John Laurens, Head of Global Transaction Services, DBS. 

For example, DBS’ partnership with Singapore Airlinesenables the airline company to offer its passengers the flexibility and convenience to pay for their flights directly from their bank accounts using PayNow QR codes. And in the event the trip is cancelled, SIA can refund payment directly and automatically to the passenger’s bank account. This solution, powered by DBS RAPID, results in real-time payment collection for SIA, as well as streamlined and automated refunds for its customers. The real-time settlement and remittance data also facilitate automatic reconciliation and liquidity planning in treasury.

Companies in the fast-moving consumer goods, F&B and retail sectors can also benefit from the QR code collection solution enabled via APIs.

In the case of South East Asian ride-hailing platform GOJEK, DBS RAPID was integrated into GOJEK’s driver payment process. The solution enabled GOJEK driver-partners to withdraw their earnings in real time from their GOJEK wallets, and payouts are deposited directly into their bank accounts.

DBS’ API solution also created a new benchmark in the insurance industry, enabling companies to provide instant electronic payments for insurance claims. For example. In Hong Kong, DBS partnered with Sun Life Insurance, to embed real-time payment functionality of Hong Kong’s Faster Payment System into Sun Life’s mobile app. The solution facilitated insurance claim payouts within 24 hours to policyholders’ mobile number or email address for hospitalisation and accident claims, eliminating the need for bank account details and cheque processing.

Keeping up

The challenges treasurers face in today’s digital age will only grow over time. As cut-off times disappear, for instance, managing intra-day liquidity becomes ever-more critical. What’s needed are solutions like instant, round-the-clock payments, ability to mobilise funds, book FX contracts etc. and the associated administration.


Thus, APIs offer immense value for companies that embrace the solutions into their organisation and ecosystems.

This heralds an important change for many treasury and finance professionals. And particularly so in Asia, where the pace of innovation will continue to increase and digital engagement will play a key role.

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