United Overseas Bank (UOB) has signed an agreement with cloudBuy, a global provider of cloud-based e-commerce and business-to-business (B2B) solutions to create a virtual marketplace for the Bank’s small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers. This marks the first time that a Singaporean bank will create a B2B marketplace.
UOB will roll out the B2B marketplace in the first quarter of 2017. It will provide the Bank’s SME customers with a one-stop shop to view and to purchase online a wide range of business essentials, such as travel, stationery, general insurance as well as courier and logistics services. A key benefit of this marketplace is the cost savings which SMEs will be able to enjoy from bulk-purchase deals negotiated by the Bank with suppliers.
UOB data shows that the number of the Bank’s SME customers buying goods and services online has grown by more than 30 per cent over the past three years. Two in five UOB business credit card customers are now making their business purchases online.
Mervyn Koh, Managing Director and Head of Business Banking Singapore, UOB, attributes SMEs’ growing digital-savviness and their desire for convenience to the increasing popularity of B2B e-commerce. He further added,
Through this new virtual marketplace, our customers will be able to enjoy good bargains with collective bulk purchases. This will help them to address the challenge of rising business costs. As the B2B marketplace will showcase products and services from different suppliers, SMEs will also be able to make purchases online conveniently without having to request for numerous and separate price quotations.
Started in 1999, cloudBuy provides solutions for buyers and sellers and brings them together to trade via e-marketplaces and private purchasing portals. Initially the company created the B2B e-commerce functionality for suppliers. Starting in 2002, they added an enterprise procurement capability for large buying organisations with a host of procurement-related services and standard ERP integration. Now, they have further expanded e-commerce solution set to meet the needs of buyers and sellers.
Ms Lyn Duncan, cloudBuy CEO, commenting on the association with UOB said,
cloudBuy is pleased to be kicking off this exciting project with UOB. This online marketplace will offer customers new services that will cut purchasing costs and streamline buying processes.
UOB had unveiled world’s first contactless mobile payment technology for its customers’ convenience, a month before. The technology will enable existing credit cardholders to apply for, receive and use the most popular UOB credit cards through the UOB Mighty app by the end of October.
UOB is a leading bank in Asia with a global network of more than 500 offices in 19 countries and territories in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. In Asia, the bank operates through its head office in Singapore and banking subsidiaries in China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, as well as branches and representative offices.