Press Release 2020

UOB Malaysia launches The Travel Insider, the first online travel marketplace by a bank to turn the pain of holiday planning into pleasure


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 13 January 2020 – United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd (UOB Malaysia) today announced the Malaysia launch of The Travel Insider, the first online travel marketplace designed by a bank that inspires customers and makes it easier for them to search, to plan and to book their holidays.

First launched in Singapore in 2018, The Travel Insider is the result of a collaboration between United Overseas Bank (UOB) and more than 500 leading companies from the airline, hospitality and travel industries to create an online destination where visitors can easily search, plan and book their holidays, featuring competitive range of flight, accommodation and tour deals.

The Travel Insider taps UOB’s regional network and local expertise to offer more than 1,000 travel, shopping and dining deals across Southeast Asia, Japan, Korea, Australia, United Kingdom and United States.

Mr Ronnie Lim, Managing Director and Country Head of Personal Financial Services, UOB Malaysia, said, “Travel is a high priority among our customers, with one in five UOB Malaysia debit and credit cardmembers travelling abroad at least once in 2019. We have also seen a shift in the way our customers plan and book their travels, with 81 per cent of their travel-related spend last year taking place online, a 34 per cent increase from the previous year1.”

As part of their planning, travellers are known to spend hours trawling through online and offline resources just to create the itinerary for the best holiday possible. Add to this the chore of comparing prices for hotels, tours or airfares, the volume of information a traveller needs to process can be cumbersome and time consuming. To take the pain out of the process, UOB gathered top insider tips, curated content to create travel guides and proposed itineraries and worked with its partners to ensure that competitive and extensive deals can be found easily in one location.

Creating a smooth-sailing travel planning journey
In building The Travel Insider, UOB shortlisted top 24 travel destinations based on UOB card spend and data aggregated based on insights supplied by its partners, Agoda,, Expedia and Singapore Airlines. UOB then designed content for each destination to make researching what to do in each destination simple, inspiring and fun.

With The Travel Insider, intrepid planners can explore the best of itineraries, travel guides, tips and deals. The online marketplace also has a planning tool that makes it easy for the traveller to create and to save their own itinerary and then to share it with travel buddies who in turn can give comments and suggest their own preferences for the holiday.

In recognising the increasing trend for travellers to seek genuine experiences over standard sightseeing holidays, UOB Malaysia has tapped the local knowledge of 29 insiders who live in the most popular destination cities. These travel aficionados provide personal insights into the most appealing and satisfying experiences in their hometowns. Their tips can be added to the proposed itineraries. The insiders, who are professionals drawn from fields such as architecture, engineering, landscape and teaching, have more than 1 million followers on social media.

The Travel Insider taps the application programming interfaces (APIs) of Agoda, Expedia, and Singapore Airlines2 to draw the best options from more than a million hotel and flight possibilities.

Mr. Damien Pfirsch, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Programs, Agoda, said, “Agoda aims to help anyone travel anywhere, and we are excited that our partnership with UOB Malaysia will help connect more Malaysian travellers to destinations worldwide. Agoda is headquartered in Asia. We know what Asian travellers want and we are able to offer them choices from a wide range of 2.5 million properties worldwide at the best prices. With tips from the new portal, travellers can draw inspiration from a trove of travel content to plan their travels, and also easily search, book and pay for the best-priced accommodation from Agoda’s network, all on a single platform.”

To find out more, travellers can visit


1 Source: UOB internal data from 1 November 2018 to 30 October 2019

2 Singapore Airlines will be available through The Travel Insider’s Book Now function from 21 January 2020.