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UOB launches partnership network to simplify digital payments, rewards redemption

UOB has created a partnership ecosystem, which includes Visa, SP Group and Grab among others, to simplify digital payments and the rewards redemption process for its customers.

In a statement on Thursday, the bank said it has teamed up with Visa to tap a new Visa application programming interface (API) which enables customers to add their Visa credit and debit cards securely into popular apps using the bank's mobile banking app, UOB Mighty, without the need for a physical card.

This means that customers no longer need to key in their 16-digit card number, expiry date and card security code manually or if they are a new customer, to wait for their credit and debit cards to be delivered to them before they can pay with their card.

As all UOB credit and debit cards are reflected on UOB Mighty once the application has been approved, customers need to log into UOB Mighty and choose the card to add on their preferred third-party app. They are then automatically directed to the selected app to confirm.

This process can be completed within seconds, said the bank.

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Customers are now able to use this new service for Fitbit Pay for their UOB Visa cards. This will be available on Fave, Grab and Shopee's apps as well as for UOB Mastercard cards in the coming months.

UOB said it is the first bank globally to partner Visa on its new API.

With more people staying home amid safe-distancing restrictions, a recent survey commissioned by UOB found that the ability to pay utilities bills was one of the top three financial concerns among Singapore residents.

Against this backdrop, the bank has enabled its customers to offset their SP Group utility bills with the bank's rewards points.

Through a UOB API used by SP, customers need to choose the option of using their UOB rewards points when they pay on SP's utilities app. SP has more than 700,000 households using the app to manage their bills.

By enabling customers to redeem and to use their rewards points to offset their utility bills at the point of payment, they no longer need to go through the additional step of redeeming a voucher through UOB's digital banking services, said the bank. They also do not have to wait seven working days to receive a redeemed voucher and to use it.

The lender has also enabled its customers to redeem their rewards points instantly on Singapore Airlines' KrisPay app, and will progressively expand its ecosystem of strategic partners to further improve customer experience.

"Whether our customers are banking on UOB Mighty or making payments on our partners' apps, our aim is to create an intuitive experience and to remove any disruptions or detours to their digital journey," said UOB head of group personal financial services Jacquelyn Tan.

Kunal Chatterjee, Visa country manager for Singapore and Brunei, said: "We have seen an acceleration in digital payments adoption by consumers, especially since the pandemic. Consumers are becoming more connected through digital wallets, IoT (Internet of Things) and e-commerce and it is crucial to enhance the current user experience."

Wong Yu Hsiang, SP Group head of SP Digital for products, sales and marketing, added: "Our collaboration with UOB enables us to provide a seamless and fuss-free cashless payment option on our SP Utilities app. We will also be enabling more options to bring greater convenience to our customers soon."

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