UOB builds momentum on digital banking services

UOB builds momentum on digital banking services
Image credit: UOB

Uses data insights to improve omnichannel offering.

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United Overseas Bank (UOB) is continuing to acquire large percentages of customers digitally as it scales its mobile-only bank, TMRW, across the Asean countries.

Group CFO Lee Wai Fai told a first-quarter financial results briefing that its retail customer base had now “surpassed the seven million mark”.

While this is partly due to the ongoing integration of Citigroup’s consumer banking business in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, Lee said there was organic growth, too, which was largely driven through digital-only channels.

“Organically we have … acquired 225,000 customers through the quarter, with almost 60 percent coming through our digital channels,” Lee said.

Lee also said that omnichannel customers - customers that engage with UOB in multiple ways - generate much more revenue for the bank than customers that engage only through a “traditional” - presumably branch-based - channel only.

The bank has previously pointed to growing preferences for omnichannel offerings, particularly in its home market of Singapore.

“Our omnichannel strategy continued to show good traction,” Lee said.

“These customers are highly engaged and actually contribute up to three times the higher average revenue as compared to the traditional channel.”

UOB said in an accompanying slide deck that omnichannel offerings are being enhanced by “leveraging data insights”, though Lee did not specifically touch on this.

The slides state [pdf] that UOB is “embracing data insights to digitalise customer experiences and processes” and that it is also “repurposing branches for more advisory needs”.

On the wholesale side, UOB said it is also seeing the effects of “deepening digitalisation” - with cashless payments up 114 percent regionally in the first quarter, and digital banking transaction volumes also up 13 percent.

Overall, UOB posted a core net profit of S$1.6 billion, up 74 percent compared with the same period last year, and a “record” for the group.

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