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UOB to launch its digital bank first in Thailand

UOB on Thursday said it will launch its digital bank first in Thailand, with the mobile-only bank known as TMRW. The digital bank aims to attract three to five million customers in the next five years.

TMRW is the first mobile-only bank meant to target Asean millennials who transact mainly on their mobile phones. This comes as Asean's digital generation forms the third-largest base of digitally savvy consumers after China and India.

TMRW is built from scratch and uses data to bring personalised functions and information to each customer's needs, UOB said. UOB has partnered financial technology (fintech) firms such as Personetics and Meniga to experiment and learn in real time how to deepen customer engagement digitally. These fintech partnerships will be done through UOB's regional engagement labs (eLabs), said to be the first dedicated unit set up by a bank in Asean that is focused on using technology and behavioural insights to deepen customer engagement.

According to UOB, one of TMRW’s most popular features, based on usage data from the 1,500 customers who joined the pilot programme in Thailand, is a money management game that is tied to customers's savings goals. TMRW’s functions are also meant to strip away banking jargon and to remove hidden fees.

UOB said it will launch TMRW in its next Asean markets in the coming months.

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Dennis Khoo, UOB's head of group retail digital, said that TMRW "pushes simplicity to the limit".

"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," said Dr Khoo.

"We took the time needed to understand our millennial customers and how and why they engage with mobile apps and digital services the way they do. We then used those insights in designing TMRW for today's millennials."

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