UOB platform offers car loans in 15 mins

Bank ties up with 7 distributors, Carousell for financing solution

United Overseas Bank (UOB) is the latest to launch a digital platform for car buyers after rule changes by the Monetary Authority of Singapore last year.

The changes allow banks to operate or acquire major stakes in digital platforms matching buyers and sellers and businesses involved in the online sale of consumer goods and services.

With UOB's new digital car-financing platform, vehicle buyers can get car loans in 15 minutes rather than the usual three working days.

The process will do away with manual form-filling, furnishing of paper documents and long processing times, the bank said.

The bank teamed up with seven car distributors and online retail platform Carousell to offer its digital financing solution for more than 11 car brands.

The distributors are Cycle & Carriage Singapore, Inchcape Singapore, Motor Image Enterprises, Performance Premium Selection, Premium Automobiles, Tan Chong Motor Sales and Trans Eurokars.

With this new digital solution, a car dealer needs to key in only the customer's name, mobile phone number and NRIC number into a secure and customised online portal.

The buyer then logs in using his SingPass to confirm his personal, car and financing details. Upon customer consent, UOB processes the application within minutes.

Besides UOB, DBS Bank launched its property marketplace last week. The online platform offers listings from both agents and owners.

It will also be able to facilitate end-to-end paperless transactions, from cheque-free payments to digital documentation. The site will be able to provide essential services by partnering buyers with service providers, such as renovation, cleaning and moving firms.

This comes on the back of DBS' launch of its car marketplace in August last year, which was then followed by a DBS electricity marketplace in March this year.

Associate Professor Lawrence Loh from the National University of Singapore Business School: "There is certainly a trend of banks going into e-commerce. They have to be at the leading edge of technology to provide services to consumers."

He added that with things in a state of flux in the marketplace, banks have to be proactive in offering value-added services to their customers.

"Whether it is product-centric like cars, or service-centric like faster loan processes, it is important for them to provide the whole diversity of services," he said.

"Now it is cars and property, but in the future, it could be other big-ticket items. There are no limits to what they can go into."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2018, with the headline UOB platform offers car loans in 15 mins. Subscribe