When you think of an innovative bank, you might think of banks like DBS.
|UOB One Debit Card
|$500 monthly average, or $2 fall below fee will be charged
|No minimum balance needed
|$1000 monthly average, or $2 fall below fee will be charged
|Highest cashback of 3%, if you spend with your SimplyGo, DFI Retail Group (Guardian, Giant, Cold Storage, 7-11 etc.), McDonald’s
|Minimum of $500 monthly spend needed, 3% cashback on things like SimplyGo
|Queues for ATM
|Faster because you get to use OCBC ATMs too
|DBS ATM queues are fiendishly long with many aunty and uncles also queuing
|You get to use UOB ATMs too
|Very simple to use
|Confusing with many functions on the app
|Clean and easy to use
|Loading time for app
|Fastest loading time of 2.95s to reach PayNow/bank balance page
|Second slowest at 4.67s
|Slowest loading time of 4.78s to reach bank balance page or PayNow page
|$18, waived if there are 12 transactions in a year
|No annual fee
|No annual fee
But make no mistake.
The UOB One Debit Card is perhaps the most fuss-free card, and bank account I’ve experienced amongst the three big local banks.
One of the lowest minimum balances required
This is one place where DBS wins, where you can keep a balance as low as $0.
But UOB still asks you for $500 each month to maintain as an average balance.
For those who are more cash strapped (like me or who tend to roll over their debt and maintain the absolute minimum required – oh please don’t), this might be a helpfully low number.
It continues with their cashback
If you look above, you would see that spending almost anywhere is going to get you cashback.
Whilst they do say that you can only get cashback with a minimum spend of $500, I’ve spent way less every month, and continued to get my cashback.
Just don’t ask me how it’s calculated.
But if you spend on average $400-500 on places like the DFI retail group (Cold Storage, Giant, Guardian, 7-11 etc.) and also use the UOB Debit Card for your EZ Link SimplyGo, you should get reasonable cashback to the tune of a few dollars a month.
Their banking interface is again neatly thought out
If you’ve used enough banking apps, one of the biggest painpoints you would have experienced is around that of logging in each time you want to do a PayNow transaction.
You would have to Face ID, Touch ID, or key in your password/One Time Password.
It’s a royal pain in the butt, especially when there are times when you wonder why you can’t find the number you’re supposed to PayNow too.
Haven’t you saved the number? Is the number the right number with the right username? How do you know?
You’d probably have gone through multiple back and forths.
Cue UOB One, who seems to have thought through this. Instead of asking for your log-in details, or face verification each time you click the PayNow button, they let you select the person, key in the amount, before they ask for the verification.
And I like how well thought this process was.
It certainly didn’t waste my time.
And if you look at UOB’s loading time compared to the rest of the banks, it’s half that of the other banks.
A clean mobile banking experience
If you’ve entered the DBS app before, you would quickly realise there’s tons you can do with the app.
UOB doesn’t pretend that you can do tons with its app. Because after all, what do you really need to do on a banking app?
- PayNow or transfer to someone else’s bank account
- Check your balance
- Scan and pay the QR
The rest like bills, GIRO, standing instructions… you would probably be more comfortable using a big screen like the computer.
Their banking app is built on one of the fastest tech stacks
If you didn’t know, UOB is built with Silverlake Axis, a Malaysian fintech company that has deep expertise in mobile banking.
Compare this to the likes of DBS, where it’s almost a running joke that it’s not if, but when their banking systems break down.
Conversations with other computer engineers at DBS have revealed that often, their stacks are built on a mix of legacy and new systems, which results in compatibility issues, that result in their systems being more like a hodgepodge of different systems, than a well thought through strategy.
So much for being the “Best Bank in the World”.
Faster queues at ATMs
And if you’ve ever withdrawn money, you would have seen the many long queues at DBS ATMs.
That’s a thing of the past with the UOB Debit Cards.
You even get to cross share the use of OCBC banks.
It means you get your cash faster.
You can’t really get nice splits in spending categories
Perhaps one pain point is that you won’t get neat and tidy categorisation of your spending. Instead, if you’re familiar with the envelope budgeting method (where you assign an amount to each category such as Food every month), it won’t be that neat over UOB’s banking interface.
All you will get to download is an Excel spreadsheet listing all the transactions, and how much you’ve spent for each transaction.
You would have to manually sort them.
But it’s alright.
The UOB One Debit Card is still worth using, for its generous cashback, low minimum balance, and most importantly, its faster loading time.
Who wants to waste time queuing and waiting anyway?
I mean – DBS said ‘Live More, Bank Less’, and promptly hit customers with two shutdowns of its network.
It might be worth exploring a bank that talks less, and lets you actually bank – when you need to.
Reliability with UOB, is understated. That’s why I’ve banked with them, since um… forever.
You might want to, too.