UOB launched their mobile iPhone app (App Store: UOB Mobile Banking) yesterday.

Its differentiating factors from local banks’s iPhone app such as OCBC or DBS/POSB is the access to financial information (deposit/exchange rates, unit trust prices, gold/silver prices) and calculators for personal loans/home equity/financial services.

There is also an augmented reality view that allows you to see latest card promotions/privileges and nearest UOB branches/ATMs. I don’t particularly find that feature useful though.

My favourite feature of this app is the mobile cash feature. What it simply does it allows you to use your mobile phone to withdraw cash from ATM without the need of an ATM card. When I first heard about it, I was like WTF.

A neater feature built on top of it, is that it even allows you to send money to your friend and even if he is not a UOB customer, he still can withdraw the money from any UOB ATMs.

Mobile Cash

Step 1

So how does it work? Upon launching the UOB Mobile Banking app, go to Mobile Cash and select the recipient you want to send the cash to. By default, your name should already be in the list (for you to send money to yourself). Since you are not transferring the money to any bank account, no account number is needed, just the recipient name and his mobile number.

Add Recipient In iBanking

The only down side is that you can’t add the recipient using the app itself. So you have to login to the normal Internet Banking via your computer browser to add them or call the UOB Call Centre to get them to add that for you if you are outside.

Select Recipient / Withdrawal Password

On top of selecting the recipient name and specifying the amount to send, you would also need to specify a 6 digit pin that you would need to tell your recipient.

Step 2

Success / SMS

Once that is done, your recipient will receive a text message and it will contain the transaction code. Using this transaction code and the 6 digit pin that you provided, he can then proceed on to any UOB ATM.

One final verification is the OTP that will be send to your recipient mobile number after he keyed in the 6 digit pin and the transaction code at the ATM. So once he keyed in the OTP, the money you sent to him will be dispensed by the ATM.

Of course there are some security checks in place for such a useful feature and here they are:

  • The sender must register a list of recipients, their relationship with the sender, and the recipients’ personal information (NRIC and mobile numbers, name) before any transfer can take place
  • An instant SMS-notification and next-day follow up letter will be sent to the sender upon registration, confirming recipient details
  • An SMS of the mobile cash transaction with the specific reference number is sent to the recipient. This SMS instruction is valid for 24-hours and the sender can cancel a transaction at any time prior to expiry or cash withdrawal by the recipient
  • A separate withdrawal password which the sender should communicate to the recipient. This is to guard against the loss of the recipient’s mobile device
  • The recipient is prompted for the One-Time Password (OTP) upon withdrawal at the UOB ATM
  • The transaction is automatically voided should the ATM detect a pre-determined number of invalid password attempts
  • A maximum cumulative transfer amount of S$500 per day per sender
  • A recipient can receive only one transaction a day

I find it pretty neat! I hope all the banks will adopt this!

An Android app is on the way followed by Blackberry and mobile web version next year. A native iPad App is also in the works.

Download App Store: UOB Mobile Banking