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FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore

UOB kicks off eLab in Southeast Asia

It will use behavioural insights to promote better saving and spending habits.

UOB launched Engagement Lab (eLab) as a tool to personalise their service through real time digital conversations in their customers’ own mother tongue, an announcement revealed.

The bank plans to set up eLabs, which the bank deems as the first technology and behavioural insights-based unit in the region, across its network of ASEAN countries such as Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

“We are building a glossary specific to each market which takes into consideration cultural, behavioural and language norms. With language being used differently by each generation, and especially on digital devices, this is an exciting challenge to tackle,” Dennis Khoo, UOB’s head of Digital Bank and digital banking, said.

The bank's eLab will use insights drawn from the digital bank regarding consumers’ individual transaction patterns and habits to design, test and trial ways to encourage consumers to save and spend wisely. Its team of specialists will comprise of specialists from a range of fields including data analytics, and behavioural and decision sciences, according to the announcement.

Also read: UOB rolls out all-digital suite of services to speed up home buying

According to Khoo, a large portion of UOB’s Digital Bank customers are ‘mobile-first’ and ‘mobile-savvy’ and will expect digital services to be instinctive and responsive.

“We believe that designing a simple and easy-to-navigate app interface to create an intuitive user experience is just the beginning,” he said. “We want to build on this and to ensure that every touchpoint - from the onboarding process to day-to-day banking - at the Digital Bank is relevant to our customers and resonates deeply with their lifestyle needs and priorities.” 

In addition, UOB has launched a ‘talent search’ to increase its 120-people digital bank team by 50% in the next 12 months. A quarter of these new hires will join eLab, whilst other roles will be in areas including user interface design and data analytics and design thinking.

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