UNITED OVERSEAS Bank (Thai) yesterday announced it was piloting three branch concepts designed to meet the lifestyles and needs of distinct customer segments: families; young professionals and entrepreneurs; and business owners and the upper affluent.
Each of the three prototypes was based on the customers’ lifestyles, needs, inspirations and aspirations such as a club for children, an art gallery-themed concept and the third with a futuristic design. Although the concepts are distinctly different, the three pilot branches will be centred on offering financial solutions and services for the bank’s customers.
UOB (Thai) based the prototypes on its statistical analyses of how customers use the branches and its research on what customers expect of these centres.
UOB’s study revealed that customers preferred to visit a branch for personalised financial advisory services. Ninety-nine per cent of its customers in the upper affluent and family segments said they visited a branch at least once a month. With the increasing use of technology to make banking simpler, safer and smarter, the young professionals said they would rather conduct their banking transactions through digital channels. However, they said they would continue to visit a branch for financial advisory services.
James Rama Phataminviphas, country head of channels and digitalisation, UOB (Thai), said the bank has taken a design thinking approach to enhance the banking experience for each customer segment with the three branch concepts drawing on insights and understanding of its customers.
“The needs of families, young professionals or entrepreneurs and those of business owners and the upper affluent are different. Families would be mainly focused on their children’s development and would want to plan well for their education. Young professionals or entrepreneurs would be concerned about their career progression or setting up their own business. The established business owners and the upper affluent customers would want help in planning, saving and investing wisely. Using data analytics and research, we focused on creating solutions to address our customers’ changing needs and to ensure that their experience at our branches exceeds their expectations.”