UOB announces digital bank to scale up its regional franchise

  • Aims to build a customer base of three to five million in the next five years
  • Customers will enjoy a fully digital experience which is intuitive, transparent, engaging


UOB announces digital bank to scale up its regional franchise


UNITED Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) announced that it is introducing a digital bank for Asean’s massive and increasing base of ‘mobile first’ and ‘mobile only’ customers.

UOB’s Digital Bank will be deployed in its key Southeast Asian markets as the group accelerates and broadens the growth of its regional customer franchise.

UOB’s Digital Bank customers across the region will enjoy a fully digital experience which is intuitive, transparent and engaging – from the moment they apply to open an account through to their everyday lifestyle needs.

Every interaction will be designed to deepen the customer relationship through meaningful conversations and personalised engagement.

UOB deputy chairman and chief executive officer Wee Ee Cheong, said, “All our efforts are driven by what is best for our customers. We harness our technology, knowledge and experience gained across all markets to provide our customers with relevant, smart, simple and safe solutions wherever they may be.

“The Group’s Digital Bank is our latest initiative to deepen engagement with our customers, especially the mobile savvy. It will also help scale up our customer franchise across Southeast Asia and positions us well for the future.”

Unique business model

At the heart of UOB’s Digital Bank customer engagement approach is its unique data-centric business model.

This model is designed to address the entire customer life cycle comprehensively, ensuring the quality of each encounter to deepen relationships.

The business model comprises five stages: Acquire, Transact, Generate data, Insight and Engage (ATGIE).

Through ATGIE, the customer experience starts with swift and simple onboarding which is localised to each market context. As customers interact more frequently, UOB’s Digital Bank will gain a better understanding of their preferences and behaviours.

Over time, the deeper insights drawn would enable the Bank to anticipate customers’ needs, to determine how it can best help them and prompt them towards smarter spending and saving habits for them to achieve their financial goals. This in turn would encourage even greater customer engagement, loyalty and advocacy.

Building blocks in place

UOB’s ATGIE business model is powered by next-generation artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, user interface design and smartphone capabilities.

These include UOB’s own digital technology innovations as well as solutions provided through its collaboration with fintech partners such as its recent joint venture with Avatec.ai and its investment and partnership with Personetics.

Through Avatec.ai’s next-generation credit assessment capabilities, UOB’s Digital Bank will be able to serve a broader base of Southeast Asian customers, opening up possibilities and driving financial inclusion, including for customers new to credit as well as those who are underserved.

Through UOB’s partnership with Personetics, artificial intelligence-based solutions will be used to help identify patterns and extract insights based on the huge volumes of transaction data. This will enable UOB’s Digital Bank to design more innovative, responsive and responsible digital banking services for its customers.

Dr Dennis Khoo, head of Regional Digital Bank and Digital Banking, UOB said, “Our focus for UOB’s Digital Bank is engagement and this guides the whole experience for our customers across Southeast Asia. Over the next ten years, the global retail banking industry will undergo significant change driven by innovation, the availability of rich and real-time data as well as the different needs and expectations of the mobile-savvy customers. UOB’s distinctive approach, unique purpose-built business model and our data-centric digital bank will enable us to seize this opportunity.”

UOB’s Digital Bank aims to build a customer base of three to five million in the next five years, operating at a steady-state cost-to-income ratio of 35%.

The bank will announce the details of the consumer launch soon.


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