UOB targets millennials with new digital-ready branch


Singapore-based United Overseas Bank (UOB) has launched a new concept branch in Tampines specifically targeting millennial customers.

Utilising a Design Thinking methodology – a process which adopts a scientific, data-oriented approach to customer experience design – to develop the branch, UOB expects the facility to “enhance the banking experience” for a younger, more digital-savvy cohort.

UOB’s head of group channels and digitalisation, Janet Young said UOB drew on insight from customers with “young families and those in the early to mid-stages of their careers” to shape the branch’s construction.

“We know that UOB’s millennial customers prefer to bank through digital channels or by using self-service machines. Our data shows that when they visit a branch, it is more likely to be for services such as financial advisory,” Young said.

Appreciating customers’ preference for more personalised service, the branch layout was entirely reconfigured from the standard model, removing traditional teller counters and creating private spaces for customers to discuss their financial goals, she said.

The branch will be equipped with a QR code reader wall, where customers can use their smartphones to scan a QR code to be directed to information that interests them. UOB has also set up five self-service machines in the branch lobby which are accessible at any time of the day.

Basing the first concept branch in the Tampines was a deliberate move, the bank said, as it anticipates a greater number of young professionals and families establishing themselves in the area.

To complement the new Tampines branch, UOB has also collaborated with a local café and confectioner, Sugarhaus, to offer banking customers in-branch food service.

Curiously, the collaboration will take its own digital turn, with customer food orders to be taken and served by a robot waiter. The autonomous service delivery robot, affectionately named ‘Charlie’, was developed by US technology company Savioke.