UOB first bank in South-east Asia to launch online travel platform

United Overseas Bank (UOB) has made its first foray into lifestyle finance by releasing an online travel platform that lets users search, plan and book holidays.

UOB, which collaborated with Web-based travel giants Agoda and Expedia on the initiative, said it is the first bank in South-east Asia to have such an online marketplace.

The bank uses application programming interfaces from Agoda and Expedia to draw the best options from more than a million hotel and flight possibilities.

Called The Travel Insider, the platform partners airline, hospitality and travel firms so users can get competitive flight, accommodation and tour deals.

Only UOB card holders can transact on The Travel Insider, which offers about 350 deals.

"We see the increasing significance travel has in our lives through our card data, which shows that it has been a top spend category over the past five years," said Ms Jacquelyn Tan, UOB's Singapore head of personal financial services.

Last year, travel spending by UOB card holders grew 11 per cent to more than $2 billion, she added at yesterday's launch.

UOB is the largest credit card player here, with almost 20 per cent market share in overall card billings, Ms Tan said.

UOB shortlisted Singaporeans' top 20 destinations based on card spend and insights from Agoda, Expedia, Mastercard, Visa and airlines to build The Travel Insider.

It then designed content for each destination to make researching what to do in each place simple. - THE STRAITS TIMES