UOB to invest $ 500 million to strengthen digital banking presence in Singapore, in Asean, Banking News & Top Stories

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SINGAPORE – UOB will invest up to $ 500 million over the next five years to expand its digital offerings in Singapore and the rest of Asean, the bank said on Tuesday (September 28th).

It also aims to double the number of retail customers it digitally serves to more than seven million customers.

It comes as digital banking adoption has jumped five to seven years in the past year alone, said Kevin Lam, head of group digital banking at UOB.

“This prompted us to launch our digital-focused strategy much earlier than expected,” he said.

Part of UOB’s investment will be to combine Tmrw, UOB’s digital bank in Thailand and Indonesia, with its Singapore mobile app, UOB Mighty, to form a new and improved app called UOB Tmrw.

It will launch in Singapore by the fourth quarter of this year, said Lam, who also heads Tmrw.

Users will benefit from more relevant rewards and customer loyalty programs tailored to their data and banking habits, as the new app leverages Tmrw’s customer engagement technology.

The UOB Tmrw app will also unify UOB’s investment products on its platform, with the aim of democratizing wealth management for the mass market, Lam said.

The information generated for each client will help them understand how they stack up against the median and what they can do to improve their financial situation and lifestyle, he said.

He added that one of the goals of the UOB Tmrw app is to encourage more users to switch to digital banking.

Noting the accelerating pace of digital banking adoption in Singapore that started last year, he said, “Digital banking has become mainstream and is no longer just a preference for young people.

Last year, the adoption of digital payment channels such as PayNow and the QR code increased by more than 200%, while physical cash deposits and withdrawals fell by more than 30%, according to UOB.

“The propensity to bank online has tripled to almost two-thirds among people aged 60 and over,” Lam said.

As part of its UOB Tmrw rollout, UOB on Tuesday launched a pilot version of the new app to all of its Singapore-based employees, giving them access to Tmrw’s digital banking capabilities.

Upon successful completion of the pilot, Singapore-based UOB Mighty customers will be able to upgrade to UOB Tmrw by the end of the year.

Tmrw was first launched in 2019 under a separate division in UOB. Digital banking is powered by an AI-powered digital engagement engine that uses financial technology to categorize and analyze large volumes of transaction data in real time. It is backed by experts in fields such as technology, behavioral sciences, data science and banking in Thailand and Indonesia.

This has enabled Tmrw to forecast and deliver relevant financial information and solutions to clients based on their banking preferences. According to UOB, Trmw was the first digital bank in the region to develop a new business model focused on customer engagement through data insights.

Since 2019, it has invested $ 200 million to develop its digital banking capacities in Thailand and Indonesia.

The bank plans to unify its digital banking platforms in other markets, including Malaysia and Vietnam, Lam said.

UOB also plans to launch more digital-only wealth products to increase revenue and reduce costs by using chatbots rather than humans to serve customers.


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