A Pan Asian Approach to Transaction Banking

Appointing a singular cash management bank in Asia can be challenging – resulting in corporations having to create a patchwork of banking relationships across the region. Here’s how DBS’ pioneering bank approach strives to help businesses achieve a pan-Asian banking solution. 


For multinational corporations, depth of banking network and services in every country in which they operate, combined with a cohesive, standardised experience across markets is essential for financial and operational efficiency. To achieve this, many choose to appoint a regional cash management bank to achieve a balance of local knowledge and consistency across markets. While this model often proves successful in Europe and North America, it can be more challenging in Asia given the diversity of regulations, financial markets and payment culture in each country. In markets with high reliance on physical cash, there is often a need to access an extensive bank branch network. As a result, many corporations have been obliged to create a patchwork of banking relationships to achieve the depth and breadth of banking capability they need in the region. DBS’s pioneering partner bank approach, however, enables treasurers and finance managers to take a huge step forward in achieving a pan-Asian transaction banking solution. By doing so, they achieve the depth and reach of services they need in each country, without compromising on efficiency, standardisation and quality of experience. 

Pioneering partnerships 

DBS provides comprehensive corporate banking services to clients of all sizes and in all industries across its six core markets: Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, India and Indonesia. Clients who have worked with DBS in these countries are now seeking to experience a comparable degree of efficiency, convenience and quality of products and services in other Asian markets. This creates a challenge: on one hand, DBS may not be able to build out an extensive branch network in non-core markets, on the other, it is essential that the experience of multinational corporations is frictionless as they expand their Asian footprint. 

“To address clients’ needs, DBS has forged a series of close, long-term partnerships with major banks in Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines, which are key growth markets for our clients. By doing so, clients can extend their experience of working with DBS across a wider footprint, whilst leveraging the depth of domestic solutions and branch network of our partner banks.” 

Navinder Duggal, Group Head of Cash Product Management, DBS 

When selecting partner banks, DBS has adopted comparable criteria to those that our corporate clients would use when selecting their own relationship banks. Credit quality, credit ratings and liquidity are essential pre-requisites, but beyond these, we analyse issues such as the range of domestic products and quality of services, system capabilities, branch network, and cultural fit with DBS.

“Following extensive exploration of potential partnerships, DBS is delighted to be working with CIMB in Malaysia, Siam Commercial Bank in Thailand and BDO Unibank in the Philippines. When selecting these banks, a critical factor was each bank’s ability to support bank statement and transactional flows using industry standard formats such as ISO 20022 or SWIFT messaging. Consequently, clients can send and receive information and transactions to and from partner banks directly through DBS channels, as opposed to establishing separate connectivity, creating an entirely seamless experience.” 

Navinder Duggal, Group Head of Cash Product Management, DBS 

Leveraging the pan-Asian potential 

Existing clients are already enthusiastic about the opportunity to extend their experience of working with DBS into new markets, while prospective clients can benefit from a far easier process of selecting and implementing a transaction bank in Asia: 

“Clients value the single point of contact through DBS and the benefit of consistent service levels, documentation, pricing and onboarding processes. While clients need to set up bank accounts with the partner bank directly for compliance reasons, we help to facilitate this process, whilst ensuring that these accounts are fully accessible for two-way flow of transactions and information via DBS channels.” 

Mark Troutman, Group Head of Sales, DBS Global Transaction Services 

With these partnerships building momentum, we expect the scope of these relationships to extend from transaction banking into other areas, such as consumer banking. Furthermore, while these new partnerships offer an exciting opportunity for DBS clients, clients of CIMB, Siam Commercial Bank and BDO Unibank can also build new  partnerships with DBS to support their international growth. There is also the potential for DBS’ partner bank network to bring together not only domestic activities in each market, but to build to cross-border capabilities where regulations permit for a more joyful banking experience. 

For small businesses through to large corporations operating in multiple locations in Asia, or companies with aspirations to do so, the pan-Asian banking model pioneered by DBS is a unique and exciting opportunity. By effectively outsourcing the selection of banks in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines to DBS to support their activities in these markets, clients no longer have to build a regional banking panel for its Asia business, but can instead achieve a pan-Asian approach to transaction banking through a single bank relationship and single channel. 

The information herein is published by DBS Bank Ltd. (“DBS Bank”) and is for information only. 

The information is not directed to, or intended for distribution to or use by, any person or entity who is a citizen or resident of or located in any locality, state, country or other jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, availability or use would be contrary to law or regulation. 

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