UOB Focused on Laying a Strong Foundation Before Going Digital

UOB on Scotts Square

UOB on Scotts Square

Singapore's United Overseas Bank has often been the slow and steady player among local banks when it comes to embracing the digital revolution, but it is speeding things up – becoming a regional bank with a subsidiary in China.

UOB outlaid S$500 million from 2011 to 2013 to build a «core banking system» so that its entire network, across countries, can be on the same platform, Susan Hwee, head of group technology and operations, told «The Straits Times».

«We invested heavily in regional infrastructure first, and we also standardised and centralised where the regulations permitted. Where not possible, we standardised the software and the systems,» she added. «That was the beginning of transforming UOB from being a Singapore-centric bank to a regional bank with 500 branches in South-east Asia, and our subsidiary in China.»

More Than 20-Fold Increase

Singapore is the global IT hub for UOB, which also set up a security operations centre here 18 months ago that runs round the clock with a team of 12 employees, «The Strait Times» further writes.

One of the innovations is the UOB Mighty e-wallet app, which lets Android smartphone owners with UOB cards use their phones instead of physical cards at contactless readers to make payments. Since UOB Mighty was released last November, there has been a more than 20-fold increase in mobile contactless payments on its cards.

Roll-out in Thailand in Early 2017

«UOB Mighty has gone through four versions in Singapore in the last 10 months, and we are developing the roll-out for Thailand in the first quarter of next year, and for Malaysia in the second or third quarter next year,» said Hwee.

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