Banks and telcos collaborate to help SMEs expand digital capabilities

To help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) access technologies to go digital, Info-communications and Media Development Authority (IMDA) has signed seven memoranda of intent (MOIs) with telcos and financial institutions. This was announced by Communications and Information Minister of Singapore Yaacob Ibrahim today while speaking at the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) SME and Infocomm Conference.

Communications and Information Minister of Singapore Yaacob Ibrahim.
Communications and Information Minister of Singapore Yaacob Ibrahim. Photo courtesy: imda.gov.sg

The MOIs signed under this programme will help SMEs accelerate the adoption of preapproved robust, secured and interoperable digital technology solutions, particularly in the areas of cybersecurity and data analytics.

The Minister also informed that IMDA will work with the three local telcos - Singtel, M1 and StarHub - to identify digital solutions in cybersecurity and data analytics, and bundle them with traditional broadband and Wi-Fi services. 

He said, “This way, SMEs will be able to have access to a one-stop service of comprehensive digital technology packages, allowing them to adopt multiple digital solutions at once.” 

IMDA is also partnering with DBS Bank, Hong Leong Finance, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd (OCBC Bank) and United Overseas Bank (UOB). Through this, SMEs will have access to financial instruments such as bridging loans to help defray costs when investing in building new capabilities. The banks will also work with business leaders to kickstart innovative solutions with SMEs and industry partners.   

Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive, Infocomm Media Development Authority, said, “We believe our SMEs need to embrace technology to thrive in a digital economy. Through collaborations between IMDA and key industry partners, SMEs can more easily assess digital technologies and financing support to embark on their digitalisation efforts. We welcome more partners to join us in supporting our SMEs in their digital journey.”

SMEs Go Digital programme helps advise SMEs on the adoption of digital technologies at each stage of their growth as well as to boost productivity. It was launched in April, 2017.

SMEs contribute to almost 50 per cent of Singapore’s gross domestic product and employ two out of three workers in Singapore. Digital technologies have the ability to transform the way SMEs function and help businesses improve revenue in the long term by managing operating costs, improve compliance and financing.

Author
Ashraf Jamal
Ashraf Jamal – Senior Writer

Ashraf Jamal brings a rare depth to writing equipped with a degree in journalism, a postgraduate degree in political science, and a degree in law from the Allahabad University. His experience includes editing and publishing the Northern India Patrika and writing for Times of India for almost a decade covering just about any topic under the sun including NRIs and Indian diaspora.

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