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DBS links F&B players to services to set up online take-out orders

FOOD and beverage (F&B) businesses can soon access a new set of digital services via DBS to set up their independent online food-ordering services, and possibly at a cheaper rate than working with established food-delivery platforms. 

This may help F&B firms raise their online presence to cater to the growing demand for take-out meals amid the virus outbreak and create new income streams, with many hit by the latest social-distancing measures.

DBS on Wednesday said it would link up its customers with two homegrown technology startups Oddle and FirstCom to offer F&B businesses the ability to set up their own food ordering site in just three days. They can also set up their "digital presence" with online marketing in five days.

The service is expected to be available by the end of March 2020, and will be supported by Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Enterprise Singapore.

DBS said that its F&B customers pay a preferential rate to set up an online site, as compared with commission rates of as high as 30 per cent on other industry digital platforms. The Business Times understands that the commissions could go down to half of that.

Oddle will help businesses establish a branded e-menu with an integrated shopping cart, order management and payment services in three business days. The same process typically would take up to several weeks or months if businesses go it alone.

Oddle will support the onboarding process to their F&B platform by providing training and a social media kit for merchants to further drive online sales through digital marketing tools. It will also help F&B SMEs connect to logistics partners if they require on-demand food delivery. Oddle’s system is currently behind more than 3,000 F&B brands, including Soup Restaurant, Arnold's Fried Chicken and A-One F&B.

As for FirstCom, it will help those who already have an online presence to raise their digital marketing efforts by offering merchants preferential rates for digital marketing services. This includes setting up and managing businesses’ social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. The package that it is offering is valued at S$3,000, and is understood to be worth at least double in the industry.

For F&B brands that are new to e-commerce, FirstCom will also be able to help them set up a digital presence in fewer than five working days. FirstCom has served over 4,500 SME clients to date.

DBS said that it will absorb the set-up costs for its digital merchant collections solution and waive merchant discount rates for six months for FirstCom customers adopting it.

Joyce Tee, group head of SME Banking, DBS said: “The DBS F&B digital relief package elevates our support for the F&B community by creating an ecosystem of government partners and homegrown technology startups to help affected businesses overcome cashflow challenges by creating new income streams fast.”

DBS's latest move comes on the back of two rounds of relief measures to address cashflow challenges faced by the SME community. These include a six-month principal repayment moratorium for SME property loans, and a collateral-free digital business loan of up to S$50,000 that is disbursed within 24 hours of loan acceptance.