Singapore-based United Overseas Bank Ltd (UOB) has announced the first of a series of digital initiatives with regional ride-hailing startup Grab, following the strategic alliance forged between them last November.
The strategic alliance also entailed an unspecified investment from the bank into Grab.
For starters, consumers can now apply for a UOB card directly from the Grab app or by scanning QR codes found in Grab cars in Singapore. UOB card members will also enjoy special privileges when they use Grab services.
Moving forward, UOB and Grab will integrate the bank’s rewards and dining privileges programmes into the Grab app.
“Our alliance with Grab enables us to create greater value for our customers who commute a lot. In the past year alone, UOB cardmembers took an average of close to a million Grab rides a month,” said UOB Singapore’s personal financial services chief Jacquelyn Tan.
Through the alliance, Grab will also tap into UOB’s network of more than 500 merchants in Singapore to connect with new partners to drive its merchant network for other services including food delivery, e-payment and parcel delivery.
On Wednesday, Grab also signed an agreement with the manager of Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), Ascendas Funds Management, to design and build its new headquarters in Singapore.
The build-to-suit development takes Ascendas REIT’s business and science park investments to S$3.8 billion ($2.82 billion) and accounts for 34 per cent of total portfolio value of S$11.3 billion ($8.4 billion).
Slated to be ready by the fourth quarter of 2020, the development will house all of Grab’s employees based in Singapore and its largest R&D centre.