Singtel and UOBAM joined forces to make investing more accessible

  • Singtel and UOBAM have partnered to launch a robo-advisory service in Singapore and capitalize on growing consumer demand.
  • And other incumbent banks will likely follow suit to boost their own uptake.
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UOB Asset Management (UOBAM) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Singtel to customize and extend its robo-advisory service to Singtel’s Dash mobile wallet app in H1 2021, per their press release.

Singtel and UOBAM have partnered to launch a robo-advisory service in Singapore.
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Singtel is a leading telecom firm in Asia, reaching over 700 million mobile customers across 21 countries, while UOBAM is one of the largest asset managers in Singapore, with around $24.8 billion in assets under management (AUM).

The robo-advisory launch expands the Singtel app’s financial offering and boosts UOBAM’s customer reach.

  • The robo-advisory offering is the latest addition to Dash’s rebundling of financial services. Dash first offered payments and mobile remittance services but has since expanded to include restaurant bookings, travel insurance, and an insurance savings plan—launched in partnership with insurer Etiqa. With the wealthtech offering, Dash will be one step closer to becoming an all-in-one mobile app for users’ financial needs. Dash users will have access to Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), managed funds, and other asset classes within the app. UOBAM and Dash will leverage data analysis and algorithm-based tools to personalize portfolios based on users’ risk profile and financial goals.
  • And it will allow UOBAM to rapidly extend its reach across Southeast Asia. The asset manager first launched its robo-advisory offering for retail investors, UOBAM Invest, in July. Thanks to the partnership, the service will be directly available to Dash’s 1 million users—turbo charging customer acquisition. In addition, the partners plan to offer similar investment services through Singtel’s associates in the region. Ride-hailing and fintech giant Grab, for example, which is launching a digital bank with Singtel, has been downloaded by over 166 million smartphones in Southeast Asia—presenting a large target audience for the UOBAM’s investment services.

The launch highlights Singapore-based incumbents’ need to collaborate with tech platforms to better meet growing consumer demand for wealthtech products. Robo-advisors in Singapore are expected to hold $2.62 billion in AUM by 2024, up from $1.06 billion today, as consumers likely turn to easily accessible and automated digital investment tools to boost their finances amid pandemic-induced financial woes.

With the partnership—the first of its kind between a nonbanking mobile wallet and an established regional asset management firm, per the release—UOBAM can better position itself to capitalize on this demand. This will likely push fellow incumbent banks OCBC and DBS, which launched their own robo-advisory offerings in 2018 and 2019 respectively, to follow suit and seek to embed their services on consumer platforms to boost their own uptake.

Consumer internet firm Sea, for example, just acquired a banking license as it seeks to diversify its financial products, and could partner with an established bank to quickly integrate a robo-advisory service.

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