We take an holistic approach to provide the best-in-class options and solutions for our customers. We build partner ecosystems that draw on the expertise and different strengths of each to serve our customers better and to meet their evolving needs. These solutions range from helping our customers accelerate their digital transformation and compete more effectively in the digital economy, to providing them with access to alternative financing. In combining our partners’ complementary strengths with ours for the benefit of our customers, we are able to create more value, multiplying the overall effect for our stakeholders across our franchise.
Helping businesses succeed in the digital economy
In 2019, we launched with Google an SME Leadership Academy dedicated to helping SMEs in Singapore transform digitally and expand overseas. Around 340 business leaders across various industries such as retail, food and beverage, engineering, manufacturing and travel attended the programme, which was supported by Digital Industry Singapore and SkillsFuture Singapore.
"The SME Leadership Academy has provided valuable knowledge and insights into actionable steps by showing us how the use of G Suite and UOB’s solutions can help us improve our overall work efficiency. This has resulted in improved productivity for our company. It has also opened our company to more opportunities for communication and connection with our ideal audience online, enabling us to serve them better."
Mr Lloyd Koh,
Marketing Manager, Acrafile Pte. Ltd.
Accelerating SMEs’ e-commerce transformation
In 2019, we formed alliances with several strategic partners, bringing together our collective expertise to offer banking and business solutions to ASEAN’s SMEs in e-commerce to help them meet their financing needs and manage their cash flow more effectively.
Our SME clients will be able to benefit from these ecosystem partnerships that will enable them to scale up their business faster and to connect with close to 300 million digital consumers in the region.
Our strategic partners
Powering the renewable energy adoption in Southeast Asia
Solar power is expected to account for 25 per cent of total renewable energy production in Southeast Asia by 2040. UOB is helping to accelerate the development and use of solar power as the region transitions to a lower-carbon economy.
In 2019, we:
provided a $43 million green loan to Sunseap Group to fund its installation of solar photovoltaic systems on the rooftops of 210 sites ranging from commercial and industrial to government premises. The 37 megawatt-peak solar power systems can generate enough energy to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17,000 tonnes per year; and
rolled out U-Solar, Asia’s first solar industry ecosystem that connects businesses and consumers across the solar power value chain.
U-Solar – Powering the solar industry value chain
Offered in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand; and
Provides a wide range of financial solutions including:
cash management and green financing, such as sukuk (Shariah-compliant bonds), project loans and portfolio financing, to solar project developers;
end-to-end contract-based financing solutions,
from bid bonds and letters of credit issuance to performance guarantees and working capital facilities, to engineering, procurement and construction contractors; and
zero per cent interest on instalment plans through tie-ups with solar power service providers across the region for solar power solutions for factories, offices or homes.
U-Solar – Powering the solar industry value chain
Providing businesses with access to alternative financing
Through our strategic alliances with InnoVen Capital and OurCrowd, we provide companies with access to venture debt financing and private equity crowdfunding respectively.
In 2019, we signed an agreement with CapBridge, a global private capital platform:
to offer private, high-growth companies across our key markets in ASEAN with a range of private capital solutions, and
to enable these companies to create a new asset class of tradeable private equities on CapBridge’s affiliate 1exchange, Singapore’s first and only regulated private securities exchange platform, to provide their shareholders with access to flexible financing and liquidity.
Through UOB Venture Management (UOBVM), we also provide private equity financing to high-growth, privately-held companies in ASEAN and Greater China through the ASEAN China Investment Fund and the Asia Impact Investment Fund (AIIF). Integrating environmental, social and governance considerations into the investment process, UOBVM focuses on identifying quality investments through a disciplined selection process and creating long-term value for both investee companies and investors.
In 2019, UOBVM:
became the first Singapore signatory to the International Finance Corporation’s Operating Principles for Impact Management;
applied to and subsequently became a signatory to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment; and
grew assets under management by close to 40 per cent year on year to more than $1.8 billion in committed capital.
The efforts of the AIIF’s investee companies have led to more than 16 million low-income individuals benefitting from higher income or better access to quality and affordable products and services.
In 2019, UOBVM’s investments to support financial inclusion, innovation and healthcare included:
PT Amartha Mikro Fintek (Amartha), an Indonesia-based peer-to-peer lending start-up that seeks to support women micro entrepreneurs in rural areas. Licensed by the Indonesian Financial Services Authority (OJK), Amartha aims to accelerate financial inclusion through empowerment of women and digital innovation; and
Halodoc, a leading healthcare platform in Indonesia which enables individuals across the country, including in underdeveloped regions, to connect to more than 20,000 licensed doctors via its mobile app and website. Halodoc aims to simplify healthcare by improving accessibility and enhancing the patient experience.
"Halodoc is committed to simplifying and to improving healthcare access in Indonesia and value the support of
like-minded partners and investors. We are delighted to have UOBVM onboard; their sustainable and impact investing DNA is something we appreciate and resonate with."
Mr Jonathan Sudharta,
Founder and Chief Executive
Meeting consumers’ lifestyle and financial needs
To address the needs of consumers, we continued to draw on the capabilities of industries outside of banking and to forge partner ecosystems to create convenience and value for our customers.
In 2019, we added the UOB Utility Marketplace to our range of ecosystems for consumers, ensuring that whether a customer wants a new home, a car or a holiday, we have all the partners in place to support their financial ambitions.
Singapore’s first online utility marketplace provided by a bank
Through the UOB Utility Marketplace, customers can search and sign up for the best deals for electricity, gas, water, broadband and TV services easily from among 10 utility providers on a single website.
Our customers can also earn reward points, cash rebates or miles when they pay their bills using UOB credit cards.
In 2019, the other ecosystems and partnerships we built and enhanced included:
Homebuyers, car buyers and commuters in Singapore
enhanced our existing property ecosystem for homebuyers by expanding our partnerships to cover more than 90 per cent of property agents in the country;
continued to make car purchases and online car loan applications convenient through tie-ups with Carousell, Cycle & Carriage Singapore, Inchcape Singapore, Kah Motors, Motor Image Enterprises, Performance Motors, Performance Premium Selection Limited, Premium Automobiles, Tan Chong Motor Sales and Trans Eurokars;
enabled tap-and-go credit and debit card payments for bus and train commuters through Transitlink’s SimplyGo initiative and tied up with Grab to offer in-app exclusive UOB card privileges for private ride hailers.
Property owners in the region
Providing travellers with connectivity and convenience
We provide our customers the convenience they need for their regional travel through our integrated network across key ASEAN markets.
The Travel Insider, our online travel marketplace, offers our cardmembers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand more than 1,000 travel deals across 23 destinations worldwide. We make it easier for customers to search, to plan and to book their holidays by:
using partner APIs to draw the best options from more than a million hotel and flight possibilities; and
making strategic partnerships with travel industry leaders such as Agoda, Expedia, Booking.com and Singapore Airlines.
Providing convenient overseas ATM withdrawals
With a UOB ATM card or a UOB debit or credit card linked to a deposit account, our customers can withdraw cash at any of our automated teller machines (ATMs) in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand without additional service charge. Almost 180,000 transactions were made using our ATM network in 2019.
In Singapore and Thailand, we offer dynamic currency conversion service at our ATMs for cash withdrawals in local currency at transparent and competitive exchange rates for holders of foreign-issued Visa and Mastercard cards.
Enabling transactions in major currencies through Mighty FX
Mighty FX is linked to a Singapore dollar-based UOB current account, such as the UOB One Account or the KrisFlyer UOB Account. Accessed through our all-in-one mobile banking app, UOB Mighty, Mighty FX offers our customers in Singapore the ability to review current and historical rates for 11 major currencies and to set at their preferred rates alerts or automatic currency conversions.
Mighty FX also comes with a debit card for cash withdrawals or payment when our customers shop overseas or at online foreign merchants with no additional foreign exchange administrative fees. The debit card opens up access to more than two million ATMs locations worldwide.
In 2019, the number of currency conversions on Mighty FX rose
year on year,
with more than
increase in transaction volume.