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UOB invites students to design and run a branch

UOB invites students to design and run a branch

United Overseas Bank (UOB) has teamed up with Singapore Polytechnic (SP) to let students design their own branch concept.

UOB invited 40 lecturers and students from SP's business, media, arts and design schools to think about what they want from a branch.

Then, over four weeks, interior design and architecture students plotted out a branch - called Hangout@UOB - that would provide their contemporaries with the best banking experience.

Among the features the group decided on are a digital interactive wall using AI for social engagement and games that use facial and body recognition technology to complete challenges. Elsewhere, the students added a space designed to encourage social interaction and a mural wall.

Jacquelyn Tan, head, personal financial services, Singapore, UOB, says: "We knew that we had an opportunity to create a branch concept at Singapore Polytechnic in tune with the students’ preferences of combining digital services with a space of their own.

"We also know that while the students are digital natives, they wanted an inviting space where they could gather to find out more about specific banking solutions before applying for them online. As such, it was important that the final design integrated both the offline and online engagement preferences of the students, which is in keeping with the Bank’s omni-channel strategy."

Once the students had designed the branch, UOB built it and invited SP School of Business students to run it, under bank staffer mentorship, for a 22-week stint to learn about the industry.

"Through their internship at the new Hangout@UOB branch concept, students gain experience in areas such as finance, customer experience management and marketing," says Tan.

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