United Overseas Bank announced on Sept 29 that it will 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. 

“Our aim to serve three to five million digital-only customers remains. The target of seven million digital customers includes those who are digital-only, as well as our omnichannel customers,” says Kevin Lam, head of TMRW and group digital banking at UOB. TMRW is UOB’s digital-only bank launched in Thailand and Indonesia, targeting ‘digital natives’.

UOB plans to rebrand its digital app UOB Mighty to UOB TMRW which will have  an enhanced and dynamic user interface and user experience, improved loyalty and rewards and sharpening of insights that are personalised to each customer’s  needs and unique lifestyles.

The $500 million investment will be in two areas: scale and commercialisation. In scale, digital ecosystem partnerships such as API partnerships, open banking integration with other financial services partners such as insurance providers will account for part of the investments.

UOB is also committed to enhancing the digital onboarding process while meeting the regulatory e-KYC onboarding requirements of ASEAN markets such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. “We believe that a seamless onboarding experience coupled with partnerships will enable us to achieve scale,” Lam says.

The other part of investments will go into commercialisation, with a focus on digital wealth management and digital insurance.

“To enable a fully-digital self-serve experience in many of our markets, including Singapore, we need to build up these capabilities which will have the twin benefits of increasing net promotor scores (NPS), and lowering the cost to serve,” Lam says. 

NPS remains the key metric for TMRW to measure customer engagement. “Our ambition is to bring our market-leading NPS scores of TMRW in Indonesia (top three), Thailand (top two), to Singapore and our other key ASEAN markets,” Lam adds.

Hence UOB TMRW will bring the design principle of being simple, transparent and engaging into the core of the bank. The basic product set of TMRW 1.0 with only a CASA (Current Account, Savings Account) and Credit Card was always a Minimum Viable Proposition (MVP).

“We knew we had to introduce more customer value propositions (CVP) to achieve profitability. UOB Mighty on the other hand has opportunities for streamlining and simplifying,” Lam continues. 

New products include a TMRW Pay product in Indonesia in 4Q2021, an e-commerce loan in collaboration with e-commerce platforms, to engage a wider base of consumers. In October, UOB plans to launch TMRW Power Saver in Indonesia, a fully-online Fixed Deposit product.

Engagement and AI-driven insights will continue to power UOB’s digital bank and banking. UOB TMRW. brings together the best of both worlds, where more products - but only relevant products driven by TMRW’s unique digital engagement model - will be served to customers and to address their needs, according to Lam.

“This convergence is intuitive as we do not need to re-invent the wheel when TMRW grows up to TMRW 2.0 – instead, we are able to leverage a more streamlined set of “Mighty” products and CVP,” Lam says. 

“Specifically for our digital bank TMRW, we are now growing up from TMRW 1.0 where we were aspiring to be the World’s Most Engaging Digital Bank for Millennials to TMRW 2.0 where we aim to be the World’s Most Engaging Digital Bank for all,” Lam says.

UOB TMRW appears increasingly like banking-as-a-platform, a future trend forecasted by financial pundits.