Singaporean multinational bank United Overseas Bank (UOB) is set to invest up to half a billion dollars in order to double its digital-first customers.

UOB’s head of TMRW and group digital banking, Kevin Lam

UOB will spend up to $500 million on a new personalised digital banking app in order to serve more than seven million customers across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by 2026.

To do this, the bank will integrate its digital-first bank TMRW —  launched in 2019 and with a presence in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand — with its mobile app UOB Mighty to create a new platform called UOB TMRW.

A beta version of the app has already been released to UOB’s Singapore employees after which UOB TMRW will be available to all UOB customers in Singapore later this year. Subsequently, UOB will roll out UOB TMRW across key ASEAN markets in the next 18 months.

UOB TMRW will leverage TMRW’s AI-led personalised banking capabilities to provide tailored insights to customers. The team behind the new platform will draw on expertise in technology, behavioural and data science and banking to continually upgrade and enhance the app.

Thanks to the pandemic and the proliferation of digital channels, UOB says the adoption of digital payments such as QR codes has increased more than 200% while cash, no longer king, has seen withdrawals and deposits tumble more than 30% last year.

Head of TMRW and group digital banking, Kevin Lam, says: “We envision a future where the UOB digital banking experience and the solutions and services we offer are adapted to each customer, based on their banking patterns.”

UOB CEO and deputy chair, Wee Ee Cheong, says engagement is a key differentiator of UOB’s digital banking experience and in the past two years, and COVID-19 has accelerated digital adoption to the point where digital is the dominant preference.

“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.”