TMRW dawns as UOB’s digital bank will debut in Thailand
Singapore-based United Overseas Bank’s (UOB) new digital entity will first land in Thailand with “mobile savvy” millennials firmly in mind.
As reported in August 2018, UOB outlined its digital bank. The model is powered by artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), data analytics, user interface design and smartphone capabilities.
In the latest chapter, the new bank, called TMRW, is the “first mobile-only bank designed for ASEAN millennials who prefer to bank on their mobile phones, anywhere and at any time”.
According to UOB, ASEAN’s digital generation form the third largest base of digitally-savvy consumers after China and India.
Dr Dennis Khoo, head of group retail digital, UOB, says TMRW was created from scratch with the sole purpose of meeting the financial needs of ASEAN millennials.
Khoo explains: “While ASEAN is known for its diversity, there remains a set of fundamental expectations by the digital generation when it comes to digital services, such as simplicity and an engaging user experience.”
UOB says given the diverse cultures in the region, TMRW was also designed to cope with each distinct market.
It doesn’t go into specifics about these cultures (but we can assume it involves language) – Khoo merely says “TMRW will not be a static one-size-fits-all app”.
UOB explains that TMRW does not have a traditional app menu. Instead, the digital bank will learn from each customer’s usage to bring upfront functions and information that are personalised to their needs.
Customers will be able to text TMRW’s virtual chat assistant through the app itself. Taking reference from popular messaging apps, TMRW is the “first digital bank in the world” to feature a call function within its digital chat service.
When designing the TMRW service experience, UOB learned from digital banking such as mBank in Poland, Monzo in the UK and tech giants such as Facebook, Amazon and Alibaba.
UOB says its partnerships with fintech firms such as Personetics and Meniga complement its in-house capabilities through its regional Engagement Labs (eLabs) to experiment and to learn.
UOB has a minority stake in cognitive banking firm Personetics; while Meniga brings its data enrichment and categorisation tools to TMRW.
TMRW aims to build a customer base of three to five million in the next five years. The bank will launch TMRW in its next ASEAN market in the coming months, namely Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. Meniga, which provides TMRW with its digital engagement tech, estimates that that the TMRW service will reach three to five million customers in the next few years.
UOB has a network of more than 500 offices in 19 countries and territories in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. It was founded in 1935.