According to reporting from Tanya Andreasyan of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication) Singapore-based United Overseas Bank (UOB) has signed a deal with Icelandic fintech vendor Meniga for its data enrichment and categorization tools for UOB’s recently launched digital bank. The technology will help the bank’s customers “keep track in real time of their savings and expenses more easily and clearly,” Meniga said.
According to the vendor, UOB becomes the first bank in Southeast Asia to sign for Meniga’s solution “to simplify complex and multiple transaction datasets into simple and relevant data” for its clients. It will also help the bank to gain a better understanding of customer needs and prompt them to make smarter decisions in managing their finances.
For example, a customer who dines out frequently could be asked if they would like to set a budget for dining out and to be alerted to stay on track. The customer can also categorize expenses through personalized hashtags, such as #rainydayfund or #coffeewithfriends and check in real-time how much has been spent in each category.
Dr Dennis Khoo, head of regional digital bank and digital banking, UOB, described the project with Meniga as “a key building block in the bank’s data-centric approach to use data as a strategic asset.”
He explained: “A pain point customers typically face when tracking their monthly expenses is the inconsistency in how retail names are recorded. As a result, it takes a longer time to match their expenses with what is reflected in their statements. The inconsistency is due to the transaction data coming from different sources, each with its own classification set.
“Meniga’s solution powers UOB’s digital bank’s advanced expense tracking which sorts and categorises these large volumes of complex transaction data. This means our customers can match their purchases without having to scratch their heads trying to figure out the retail or brand name associated with the merchant.
“Our customers will also be able to organise the way in which they manage their finances in real-time so that it is always personal to them and relevant to their own needs.”
For Georg Ludviksson, CEO and co-founder of Meniga, the UOB deal is “an important milestone in Meniga’s geographical expansion”. Furthermore, “it is one of the largest and most exciting personal financial management (PFM) partnerships ever made in Southeast Asia”, he added. Thanks to this deal, Ludviksson said, Meniga’s product will be launched in “several exciting, high-growth markets” in the region.
UOB has a network of more than 500 offices in 19 countries in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. In Asia, it operates through its head office in Singapore and banking subsidiaries in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Meniga’s news comes just days after the company announced a major investment from Islandbanki. Meniga noted that the funding, which comes from its first and longest-standing client, will support its R&D efforts to build out its products.
Founded in 2009, the five-time Best of Show winner demonstrated its technology at FinovateFall back in September. Meniga has 65 million digital banking customers in 30 countries via its partnerships with FIs including Santander, ING Direct, and fellow Finovate alum, mBank.