2022 Winner – UOB Best retail bank in Malaysia – Retail Banker International Asia Trailblazer Awards



United Overseas Bank (UOB) Malaysia’s Personal Financial Services (PFS) unit has 850,000+ customers and is the country’s second largest credit card issuer. Its adoption of digital technology and focus on mass wealth management (WM) to bring in the middle class has incubated growth, diversified its base, and won it the Best Retail Bank: Malaysia trophy at the RBI APAC Awards 2022.

Digitalization at UOB Malaysia has focused on improving customer on-boarding, cross-selling opportunities and enhancing after sales and self service. It is obviously working because there has been a 10% increase in primary account holders, with 7% growth in active users and a 39% uplift in transactions as small, more frequent digital purchases advance and cash declines.

The availability of the UOB Mighty app with mobile banking deposit opening via electronic e-Know Your Customer (KYC) capabilities means it takes less than 10minutes to on-board a new digital customer, while e-Signature tools and a MyRM (relationship manager) offering help to attract WM customers.

In Malaysia fee income from wealth has gone up 47% thanks to its digitalization drive. A strategy to repurpose 30% of physical branches, which have declining transaction numbers anyway, with advisory-led Wealth Centers instead is progressing well.

Appropriate training has been provided to reskill staff to offer wealth services. A wider-ranging online training initiative is also underway to ensure the bank in its entirety and all its employees are ready for the digital future.

Card customers can use the new mobile app functionality that is now available to enhance their customer experience (CX). Integration with retail data and loyalty programs via partnerships with the Shopee platform, for instance among others, help to create a better digital ecosystem. This ensures future interaction points and guarantees digital transaction revenue streams.

The Malaysian bank is ready to grow still further as the internal revolution of its back-end systems and staff capabilities continues, alongside the digitalization of its front-end customer-facing tools.

Sales and service staff are now focused on acquiring new customers and feeding the wealth value chain, as servicing duties and costs are falling thanks to the raft of new digital tools.

Top line growth at the bank has already risen 5% year- on-year (YoY) with increased deposits, cards and wealth business evident, and future growth is expected for a number of years as digitalization of the bank and the economy generally advances.