SINGAPORE (Aug 27): StarHub and United Overseas Bank (UOB) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to help accelerate the digitsation efforts of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the joint exploration, development and provision of digital solutions.

See also: StarHub banks on digitalisation trend to drive external sales, cut internal costs

Under the MoU, UOB will join StarHub’s digital marketplace for SMEs to offer organisations access to digital solutions for automation and the streamlining of their businesses.

Both companies intend to explore the provision of real-time transaction insights for SMEs to better understand their respective customers’ needs and preferences. They will also collaborate with the aim to help SMEs in the adoption of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI).

The marketplace, which will go live by Oct 2018, aims to bring together different product and service providers across industries to create a vibrant ecosystem that will enable SMEs to transform their business models and go-to-market strategies.

UOB will be the first and main organisation from the financial industry to join the marketplace, adds the telco.

Other solutions available on the upcoming marketplace will include a range of “as a service” solutions including football-as-a-service, customer loyalty-as-a-service-, and employee engagement as-a-service.

In a press release on Sunday, StarHub says its latest MoU with UOB is in line with the Singapore government’s SMEs Go Digital programme and initiative to encourage SMEs to be digital from the outset.

“Combining our established network of clients and partners, we will be able to create a digital economy of buyers and suppliers of solutions and services to spur a thriving SME sector. Such an intimate level of connection and collaboration enables all of us to break industry silos and to create new value through better connectivity and insights,” comments Chong Yoke Sin (pictured in main image, left), Chief of Enterprise Business Group, StarHub.

Frederick Chin (pictured in main image, right), head of Group Wholesale Banking, UOB, adds that the partnership enables UOB to help more of its SME customers connect with a broader set specialised solutions and expertise needed to seize opportunities and overcome business challenges.

“This is one way how UOB works with industry leaders and innovators to support enterprises at different growth stages,” says Chin.