Singapore's UOB is to invest up to $500 million in digital innovation initiatives as it seeks to double the retail customers it serves digitally to more than seven million customers across Asean by 2026.
As part of its investment, UOB is to combine its digital bank TMRW with the scale and product depth of its mobile app UOB Mighty on one platform - UOB TMRW. Launched in beta to all its Singapore-based employees, commercial roll-out to customers will commence later this year.
The move comes as the pandemic drives an upsurge in digital payments and banking. In Singapore alone, adoption of digital payment channels such as PayNow and QR code increased by over 200 per cent while physical cash deposits and withdrawals decreased by more than 30 per cent in 2020.
TMRW, launched as a standalone digital bank in Thailand in 2019, uses artificial intelligence to parse millions of transactions daily to drive personalised insights and anticipate customer needs in real time. In building the bank, which has since been launched in Indonesia, UOB bought into partnership with a number of third party fintech firms, including Meniga, Avatec.ai and Personetics.
The UOB TMRW team, which brings together experts from areas including technology, behavioural science, data science and banking, will be the principle beneficiaries of the $500 million digitally kitty, using the funds to drive new enhancements to the mobile app.
Wee Ee Cheong, deputy chairman and CEO of UOB says: “Now is the right time to bring our digital bank capabilities together. By harnessing the best of TMRW and UOB Mighty in one platform, we can tap economies of scale to accelerate innovation especially in the area of hyper-personalised digital banking experiences and speed to market.”