Any successful entrepreneur will know that they have to manage money right from the get go.
The Singapore Government is looking to make it easier for small companies, and has built an app to help these firms track their invoices for government payments.
“You realise that actually quite a number of vendors who are SMEs, they don’t have those big finance teams… or they don’t have the IT systems to help them monitor and track the payments”, says Goh Mien Zo, Group Director of the Financial Transformation & Technology unit, under the Ministry of Finance.
The app, Vendors@Gov helps such companies manage their cashflow, through a dashboard that tracks the status of invoices and highlights incoming cash. One feature “shows them what are the cash flows this particular vendor would be able to receive from the government, based on the due date of the invoice they have submitted”, Goh says, helping them plan in advance.
It also allows vendors to check their payments while they are on the go, alerting them when payments are due or when a particular payment is made.
The app serves as an extension to an online website. The Ministry found that many entrepreneurs used their phones to access the website, prompting them to build a mobile app.
The Vendors@Gov mobile app was launched in June last year, and has since been downloaded by more than 4,000 vendors. Goh is next looking at integrating bank accounts on the platform. “That would help to eliminate the intermediate submission and certification that we need to do,” she says.
Her team is also getting more government agencies on board, some of which “are processing their invoices outside of the system”, she says. Once her team gets these agencies onto the app, it’d really be a “one stop portal for the vendors”, Goh adds.
The app also serves a broader agenda – the Government is encouraging more startups to supply services to agencies, and this platform helps young firms to do so.
Tech has simplified payments drastically. Perhaps when it comes to transacting with the government, it’ll soon be the days of ‘tap and go’.