DBS business banking: Review of corporate bank accounts offered for SMEs in Singapore

Hannes Ausmees

If you’re thinking of opening a DBS business account for your company, this guide is for you. We’ll look at the DBS corporate account opening options, features and fees - as well as the DBS corporate card and how it works.

To help you compare your business account options we’ll also touch on the Wise business account as a great online alternative for businesses making frequent cross border payments, expanding internationally, or working with suppliers, contractors and staff based overseas.

Table of contents

DBS Business Multi-Currency Account: comparison

Before we start our DBS SME banking review, let’s get a comparison of a few popular business banking services for Singapore. We’ll look at the popular DBS Business Multi-Currency Account1, compared to the OCBC Multi-Currency Business Account2, and another non-bank alternative - Wise Business.

We’ll run through their key costs and features side by side to help you get an idea of whether any of these may suit your specific needs.

DBS Business Multi-Currency Account3OCBC Multi-Currency Business Account4Wise Business5
EligibilitySingapore residents with locally or foreign registered businessesSingapore residents with locally or foreign registered businessesCan be opened by Singapore residents, and people resident in many other countries

Available for registered businesses and freelancers
Account opening fee50 SGD annual feeNo fee54 SGD one time fee
Minimum opening depositNot applicable - but a balance of 10,000 SGD is needed to avoid fall below feesNo minimum opening depositNot applicable
Fall below fee40 SGD fee applies if you hold a balance of under 10,000 SGDNot applicableNot applicable
Maintenance feeNot applicable10 SGD/month unless you also have another eligible OCBC Business accountNot applicable
Supported currencies for holding and exchange12 currencies supported13 currencies supported40+ currencies supported for holding and exchange

Local bank details provided for up to 9 currencies
International transfers30 SGD + agent charges

Commission in lieu of exchange applies if sending from a foreign currency with no exchange
1/8% (minimum 10 SGD, maximum 120 SGD) commission + agent fees if applicable + cable charge

Commission in lieu of exchange applies if sending from a foreign currency with no exchange
From 0.43%
Closure fee50 SGD fee if closed within 6 monthsNo feeNo fee

Pricing/fees: Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information

DBS Multi-Currency Business Account overview and benefits

If you already trade internationally - or if you plan to expand outside of Singapore in future, a multi-currency business account can help.

The DBS Business Multi-Currency Account lets you hold and manage Singapore dollars, and 12 foreign currencies all in one account. That means you can pay and get paid in SGD, AUD, CAD, CHF, CNH, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NOK, NZD, SEK and USD all from the same place. There’s no specified minimum opening deposit but you’ll need to hold a balance of at least 10,000 SGD or the currency equivalent to avoid a 40 SGD/month fall below fee.

Once your account is set up, there’s a fixed fee to send international payments - rather than paying a percentage charge - although you’ll also need to pay any agent fees that apply.

Accounts come with 50 free FAST and 50 free GIRO payments monthly - or you can opt for a Starter Bundle which gives unlimited free transactions. Starter Bundles are only offered to new businesses, so you’ll need to check if you’re eligible for this when you apply for your account, based on entity type and incorporation date.

Other DBS corporate accounts

Aside from the DBS Business Multi-Currency Account, there’s also the option to open a fixed deposit account for your business which can allow you to make the most of any extra funds you have on hand.

DBS has business fixed deposit products in SGD and some foreign currencies, with deposits from 5,000 SGD to 50,000 SGD or currency equivalent on offer. At the time of writing you can make a fixed term deposit for up to 12 months6.

There are also specialist DBS Business accounts for law firms involved in conveyancing.

DBS corporate cards available for business accounts

DBS promotes the following corporate cards to SME business customers7:

  • DBS Business Advance Debit Card
  • DBS Platinum Business Credit Card
  • DBS World Business Credit Card

You’ll be able to decide which card or cards you’d like to link to your DBS Business account, depending on your specific needs.

DBS business account fees

Let’s look at the key fees related to opening and using a DBS multi-currency business account:

ServiceDBS Business Multi-Currency Account fee
Account opening fee50 SGD annual fee
Fall below fee40 SGD/month fee applies if you hold a balance of under 10,000 SGD
Corporate card5 SGD per debit card issued
Local transfersAccounts have some free transactions monthly - fees apply, which vary by transfer type, once this is exhausted
International transfers30 SGD + agent charges

Commission in lieu of exchange applies if sending from a foreign currency with no exchange
Overdraft feePrime lending rate + 5%
Closure fee50 SGD fee if closed within 6 months

International transfers and exchange rates

The fees for your international payment with DBS will depend on a few things. The account type you hold, and the currency you pay from and to both make a difference. In many cases there are several different potential fees, which can be confusing and which may mean a pretty high overall cost.

If you have a DBS Multi-Currency Business Account you’ll pay a flat 30 SGD fee for an international transfer, plus any agent fees. Agent fees vary depending on the country you send to. There is also likely to be a fee which is rolled into the exchange rate you use. This is called an exchange rate markup.

An exchange rate markup is a percentage that is added on to the mid-market exchange rate to calculate the rate used to convert your funds from one currency to another.

The mid-market exchange rate is the rate you’ll find when you search with a currency conversion tool, and also the rate the bank will get when trading on open markets. However, it’s common practice to add a percentage - which is a fee - into the rate used for converting customer payments. That makes it harder to see exactly what your international transfer costs you overall.

A non-bank alternative for international companies - manage 40+ currencies easily with Wise Business

Looking for a flexible way to manage your company finances across currencies? Check out Wise Business.

Wise isn’t a bank, and how Wise Business accounts work is a little different to the DBS business banking solutions, too. However, Wise is regulated by Singapore authorities and safe to use, as well as being overseen by regulators in a whole range of other countries globally.

With Wise you can hold and manage 40+ currencies with just your phone. Issue Wise debit and expense cards for spending at home and abroad, and exchange currencies using the mid-market exchange rate and low fees from 0.43%.


Wise is also a great way to send international payments to employees, contractors or suppliers. Unlike banks, Wise doesn’t add a markup into the exchange rate used, and there’s no complex pricing scheme. You’ll see the costs before you confirm - and they can be as low as 0.43%. Wise does this by moving money in a different way to most banks. With a network of local bank accounts globally, Wise is able to avoid the SWIFT network which banks rely on, cutting out agent fees and making your money move quicker too.

Looking for more? You can also connect your Wise Business account to your favourite cloud accounting tools like Xero and Quickbooks, you can send batch payments to up to 1,000 people conveniently, and you’ll be able to use the Wise API to automate workflows. All in all, that could save you time as well as money.

Learn more about Wise Business

Pricing/fees: Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information

DBS business account opening process

DBS business banking services cover a range of business and organisation types including:

  • Private Limited Companies
  • Sole Proprietors
  • Partnerships, Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Partnerships
  • Official organisations like Clubs, Associations and Charities

If you have a business registered in Singapore, or a foreign incorporated business, there’s probably a DBS corporate account for you. Applications are subject to approval by DBS, and not all account types may be available to all companies.

You can start your application for a DBS business account online, and you’ll quickly see if you’re eligible for a business product. In fact, if you’re a Singaporean or PR and opening an account for a Singaporean incorporated business, you can usually complete your entire application online in just a few minutes. You’ll just need to add some information about your business - including your ACRA registration number - to get started.

If you’re an expat or have a more complex business structure with multiple partners or directors you’ll need to register your interest in an account and then wait for a call from a member of the DBS business banking team to discuss your application.

Check the documents needed based on your company type with the handy DBS corporate account opening checklist8. Requirements vary based on business entity type, number of directors and where they come from, and a range of other factors.

Summary: does DBS offer a great business account?

The DBS Multi-Currency Business Account is an attractive option if you want to hold several different currencies for your business, in an account from a local banking giant. Using a big bank like DBS has the advantage that you’ll be able to access all the business banking services you need under one roof. The DBS Business Banking solutions are also a strong choice if you’re a new company as the Starter Bundle lets you waive a few common fees while your company establishes itself.

The drawback to the DBS Multi-Currency Business Account is the range of fees you’ll likely pay. Costs are pretty wide ranging and not always easy to understand, with some transactions bundled into your account monthly, and some which you’ll have to pay for every time.

Make sure you read the account terms and conditions and fee schedule carefully before you select the right business bank account for you. If you’re unsure, compare a few different business banking solutions from major banks in Singapore - and also take a look at Wise Business as a great alternative if you have multi-currency needs.



  1. DBS Business Multi-Currency Account
  2. OCBC Multi-Currency Business Account
  3. DBS Business fees
  4. OCBC Business fees
  5. Pricing/fees: Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information
  6. DBS Fixed Deposit Business Account
  7. DBS Corporate Cards
  8. DBS account opening checklist

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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