Singapore telcos, finance players to aid SMEs in technology adoption

Singapore's Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) signed partnerships with seven players in telco and financial industry to help SMEs adopt digital technology solutions.

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A Singtel logo is pictured at their head office in Singapore Reuters

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has signed seven agreements with Singapore telco players and financial institutions to provide assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises in technology adaptation.

The seven memoranda of intent were signed by IMDA and local telcos Singtel, M1, and StarHub, as well as financial players including DBS Bank, Hong Leong Finance, OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank. This is part of IMDA's SMEs Go Digital Scheme.

The tie-ups will provide SMEs convenient access to digitalisation technologies to enhance their capabilities in cybersecurity and data analytics.

The telcos will be rolling out a one-stop service through digital technology-bundled packages. This will offer broadband connectivity and will be given with IMDA's pre-approved digital technology solutions and services.

Meanwhile, the partnership with banks will give SMEs the access to financial instruments.

In a report from the Straits Times, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said SMEs are in the best position to adopt new technologies as they are agile and adaptable, combining a high-risk appetite with a culture of experimentation.

"It is SMEs, rather than (multinational corporations), which can make decisions and adopt digital solutions relatively quickly and painlessly," he was quoted saying during his opening remarks at the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI)'s annual conferences for SME and infocomm commerce.

The communications minister said that the IMDA will continue to foster greater ties with larger companies to spur digital collaboration amongst bigger businesses and their SME vendors and suppliers.

"Digital transformation will come in many waves, and companies will need to constantly adapt, learn and find new solutions in order to avoid being swept away," he said.

To recall, 200 SMEs have already adopted IMDA's 56 pre-approved digital solutions, including technologies like mobile menu ordering, biometric authentication, and workflow management systems.