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How UOB Used Data and AI to Make Happier Safer Customers
June 9, 2020 Blog


Would you go to your bank to order a taxi or if you need to order food? How about if you wanted to look at special offers from retailers? Or what about if you wanted to get through a barrier at a road toll? Your bank wouldn’t be much use for these things. But no matter where you are in ASEAN, whether it’s Indonesia (Go-Jek), Thailand (LINE), Singapore (Grab) or Malaysia (Touch n Go), you must have encountered novel alternatives to your debit card in the form of e-wallets.



For the banking sector, the competitive landscape has changed beyond belief, and data-driven transformation is at the heart of it. The competition is so fierce that financial execs are saying that banks must operate more like tech companies to stay relevant.

For banks that have been around for a while, this transformation is especially challenging because unlike modern banks, they are often bogged down by legacy platforms and processes, old databases and systems. They deal with data in various shapes and formats, generated from a mixture of old and new systems that form a complex web of information. Information that could be of tremendous value if it could be harnessed.

The problem is that before a bank or any organisation can truly predict with data, it needs to get the essential first steps in the data lifecycle spot on.


UOB’s journey to data nirvana.

When United Overseas Bank (UOB) kickstarted its digitalisation journey, this long-serving bank had a significant mountain to overcome. Nevertheless, if it couldn’t consolidate and transform its vast and complex data into clear and actionable insights, it wouldn’t be long before the bank got sidelined by more innovative and faster-moving competition.

The Cloudera Data Platform gave UOB the capability to do just that. Fuelled by quality data, UOB now has a more comprehensive view of customer and transaction information and make accurate predictions to help the business move forward. It can now use advanced analytics and AI to realise improvements in digital banking, asset management, compliance and more.

Data also enabled UOB to enhance its security posture and reinforce the trust customers have placed in the bank. With Cloudera, UOB’s systems became much more adept at identifying patterns, linkages and anomalies. As a result, UOB was able to simplify and accelerate its ability to track operational risk, protect against fraud and money laundering, better manage user identities, and identify any unauthorised access into its data platform.



At the heart of it, technology has empowered a bank like UOB to understand its customers in new, powerful ways and keep them safe. This, in turn, has improved its relationship with customers, which is vital in today’s customer-centric era.

But it does not stop there. The path towards customer satisfaction is a never-ending one. UOB and other organisations like it will have to continuously improve and innovate to stay ahead of the curve.

Getting its data foundations in order was a vital step that will make future transformations much simpler. To read up further on how UOB achieved this with Cloudera, click here.