Connect with us

E-Financial

UBA Makes History with Leo, Chat Banking Personality on Social Media

Published

on

l-r: CEO, UBA Francophone Africa, UBA Plc, Mr. Emeke Iweriebor; Group Head, Online Banking, UBA Plc, Mr. Austin Abolusoro; GMD/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka; and Executive Director and Group Chief Operations Officer, UBA Plc, Mr. Chukwuma Nweke, during the launch and introduction of Leo, a Chat Banking Personality on Social Media Platforms by UBA in Lagos

United Bank for Africa (UBA) is fundamentally changing the way people communicate with their banks with Leo, the UBA Chat Banker that enables customers make use of their social media accounts to carry out key banking transaction.

 

On Thursday, January 11, 2018, the bank brought together its customers and financial journalists at The Backyard Bar & Grill on Musa Yar’Adua Street, Victoria Island, Lagos for the launch of its latest app.

 

Everyone present at the event knew it had to be something revolutionary.

 

For a bank that has scored many firsts in the industry and is ranked among the top three banks in effective use of social media in Nigeria in a social media report by Alder Consulting; a bank that has invested heavily in building a robust and secure e-banking platform that supports its e-banking operations globally through strategic partnerships with various local and international organizations, you could only expect the bar to keep going higher.

 

Beyond being active on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Google Plus, and also running a corporate blog, Africa’s global bank is continuously innovating and developing strategies aimed at making banking seamless and effortless for millions of its existing and potential customers, while also ensuring utmost safety of their transactions.

 

It was, therefore, not surprising that UBA would score yet another first with the introduction of Leo, an innovation that is capable of revolutionizing the way banking is done in Africa.

 

Leo, a UBA Chat Banking personality that enables the bank’s customers to make use of their social media accounts to carry out key banking transactions, comes as a solution developed with people’s lifestyles in mind.

 

With Leo, customers are able to open new accounts, receive instant transaction notifications, check their balances on the go, carry out money transfers and airtime top-up, pay for Uber, as well as perform other transactions like payment of bills, data top-up, mini-statements, loan applications, cheque confirmation, account freezing, among others right on their mobile phones.

 

Designed to work within the platforms people are already familiar with, Leo has already taken off on Facebook Messenger. In the nearest future, the app is expected to show up on other social media platforms and all it takes to enjoy the services is simply to have a Facebook account.

 

At the official launch of Leo in Lagos, Kennedy Uzoka, Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, explained that Leo, being an intelligent personality, will give customers instant feedback as they transact their business on the platform, describing it as “a solution that is from the customer’s standpoint which is easy to use by anyone regardless of your career”.

 

“The formulation of this product is consistent with the bank’s customer-first philosophy, where we are doing things not the way we like but exactly what the customers want, where they want it, and in the exact platform they want,” Uzoka said.

 

“And so, we have been working with technology giants from around the world because for UBA with so many customers, we have to deal with those who have the global capacity. Therefore, we at UBA have collaborated with Facebook to come up with this. In future, Leo will show up with other platforms. All you need to do is to have an account with Facebook,” he said.

 

Highlighting some of the advantages of using the app, Uzoka said the chat language is elementary, and Leo can even help one remember what he or she needs to do at every particular point in time. On security of the platform, he said that Chat Banking with Leo does not elevate the risk already available.

 

“You do not need to learn to use it because it has always been part of your life. It is solution from customers’ point of view. Its greatest asset is its simplicity. Leo is an artificial intelligence. He will address all banking concerns. He should help pay for everything but you need to have an account with UBA to transact with Leo,” Uzoka said.

 

“This is the first time that a financial institution in Africa has come up with this manner of solution to simplify the way customers transact, something that has become necessary in today’s fast-paced world with demands for quick-time transactions and response,” he said.

 

He expressed belief that with the huge number of customers the bank has as well as its growing customer base in all the 19 countries of operation, customers would be served using modern and forward-looking technology.

 

Austine Abolusoro, group head, Online Banking, UBA Plc, who took UBA customers and journalists present through a step-by-step demonstration on how to make use of Facebook chat function to enjoy seamless banking services through chat sessions, explained that Leo is not just a chat machine but an artificial intelligence service as well a personality meant to address any type of banking concern.

 

“Leo is ready and waiting to help with most transactions and to deliver any form of banking services. Leo is operating a lifestyle banking platform on Facebook Messenger to assist with your transactions while chatting with your friends and business partners,” Abolusoro said.

 

“The security with this platform is that for every transaction, an OTP (One Time Password) is generated to the phone number that is registered on the account,” he said.

 

He explained further that to open an account and enjoy the chat banking advantage, the prospective customer just needs to log on to the Facebook Messenger and open up chat with Leo, who then takes over the conversation by telling the customer what steps to take.

 

On security measures, he said the prospective customer needs to provide a Bank Verification Number (BVN) and phone number that is linked to the BVN.

 

But there is a ceiling on the volume of transaction that can be done by customers, the bank said. Customers with low-key Know Your Customer (KYC) will transact to a limit of N50,000 daily, already existing customers can do N200,000 and N100,000 in the first seven days even as the accounts can be upgraded to do higher transaction volumes.

 

“We are increasing customers’ happiness level with this product. We have brought banking to the chartroom,” Uzoka said.

 

No doubt, as e-banking continues to reshape the way bank customers carry out their financial transactions by providing 24-hour services and saving customers the stress of joining long queues in banking halls, UBA Plc is leaving no stone unturned in its bid to not just keep up with technology but to always stay ahead of the game.

 

With eyes on the future, and conversant with the new trend in customer behaviour, the bank is constantly innovating, taking strategic steps to integrate more people into the digital financial services net, drive down cost of service, and build consumer confidence in digital platforms.

 

 

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

E-Financial

AfDB Supports Gabon’s Optic Fiber Backbone Project

Published

on

The African Development Bank and the Gabonese National Agency for Numerical Infrastructure and Frequency (ANINF) have signed agreements a feasibility study for the country’s component of the Central African Backbone (CAB) project.

The project is an integrated, innovative and transformative infrastructure which consists of completing the 901.8 km fiber optic connectivity to cover 14 missing links on the Gabonese national backbone.

The project will enhance regional integration in the Central Africa region through fiber optic infrastructure enabling cross-border interconnection exchange with neighboring countries –  Congo, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea. It will open up opportunities that will integrate Gabon in the information and communications community, among other initiatives poised to close the digital divide especially in rural areas and empower marginal communities.

The total project preparation cost is US$ 900,000 provided by the Bank through the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility Special Fund (NEPAD-IPPF) which enables African countries to prepare bankable regional infrastructure projects to promote integration to support socio-economic transformation. The Bank will coordinate the preparation, structuring, and packaging of the project as lead arranger to ensure subsequent funding and implementation.

The CAB-Gabon project is considered to be among the most innovative digital projects that the Bank plans to implement.  Sponsors will be identified to participate in the project under a win-win collaborative partnership with global players to invest in the best ICT technologies.

The envisaged large internet broadband will boost regional integration with Gabon endowed with the largest ICT hub in Central Africa and able to attract international companies within the central free trade zone with innovations in various sectors. Digital innovations that that can be derived from the project will include services such as the duty-free money transfers.

The financing of fiber optics and e-government infrastructures (datacenters) in Central Africa will significantly lower the cost of internet fees considered to be the highest on the global scale and will add competitiveness to regional exchanges and provide an important demonstration effect for new public and private sector infrastructure projects in the region.

The Agreement was signed on 20th February 2018 by the Director General of ANINF, Bernard Bongo Odimba and Mr. the Bank’s Director-General for Central Africa,  Ousmane Dore.

Continue Reading

E-Financial

CBN Mandates Banks to Settle Customers’ Complaints within Two Weeks

Published

on

The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed banks and other financial institutions to settle customers’ complaints on issues of overcharge, unauthorised deductions and other matters within two weeks.

The CBN Head of Complaints Management Division, Mr. Tajudeen Ahmed, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.

He said the CBN would ensure that bank customers get a redress on issues of excess charges or unauthorised withdrawals.

Ahmed reiterated the apex bank’s commitment to eradicating excess and arbitrary charges.

According to him, the CBN has since issued a circular which could be found on its website, showing all legitimate bank charges.

He said that any charge outside what is stated in the circular is not allowed.

“The consumer protection department issued guidelines to banks dated August 16, 2011, directing all banks and other financial institutions to resolve all customer complaints within two weeks of receipt.

“Before the expiration of that complaint, the financial institution is expected to be engaging the customer on a continuous basis to update him or her on the status of the complaint.

“If it is not resolved within the deadline given, then such a person is encouraged to draw the attention of Central Bank of Nigeria to the complaint,” he said.

Ahmed advised customers with unresolved complaints to contact the CBN by writing to the Director Consumer Protection Department or send an email to cbd@cbn.gov.ng.

He also advised dissatisfied bank customers to visit any branch of the CBN closest to them to make their complaints.

“The CBN continually engages the banks to find out if their conduct and practices are fair to their customers in order to stimulate people’s confidence in the banking system.

“Non-adherence to that normally results to regulatory sanctions, as the case may be,” he said.

Ahmed also faulted banks for setting a limit on ATM withdrawals.

“I have also observed and noted this. Don’t forget that at the beginning, it wasn’t like this. Over time, we started having this problem.

“One of the reasons is that the quantum of N500 denomination is much more than that of N1,000 denomination.

“When we approached the banks about these problems, they said the machines become easily faulty when it is set to dispense up to N30,000 to N40,000 units.

“However, CBN has directed that the machines that allow payment of up to N30,000 to N50,000 should be installed.

“This is still ongoing. The Banking and Payment Department of the CBN is championing it,” he said.

Also, the Head of Consumer Protection Division, Mrs. Hadija Kasim, said bank customers could also avoid some of these issues by inculcating the habit of cashless policy.

She reminded the public that there were various methods to make payments rather than carrying cash.

“Let’s not forget that ATM cards can also be used on Point of Sale (POS) terminals.

“We are encouraging people that unless it is absolutely necessary, they should reduce the carriage of cash.

“Cashless transactions are more convenient, safer and you will avoid the problem of overcharges,” she said.

Kasim also advised bank consumers to use bank transfer channels for transactions in cases where sellers do not have POS.

Continue Reading

E-Financial

Nigerian Bank Investors Lose N100Bn in 2 Days

Published

on

Investors with shares in the banking sector on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) have lost over N100.8 billion in two trading days of the week, a report this morning by Vanguard said.

 

It said that while 11 out of the 16 banks in the NSE began losing prices in the market on Monday, the remaining joined by Tuesday, except United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA).

 

The report listed banks that appreciated to include: Access Bank (5 kobo) per share to close at N12.56 per share from N12.60 per share, GTBank gained N1.00 per share to close at N47.50 per share, from N46.50 per share, Fidelity Bank gained (8kobo) per share to close at N3.28 per share from N3.20 per share and Jaiz Bank gained 4 kobo per share to close at N1.04 per share from N1.00 per share.

 

However, during Tuesday trading session, all the banks’ share prices dropped except UBA which gained 20 kobo per share to close at N12.20 from N12.00 per share it closed on Monday.

 

The report blamed the trend on the recent directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that restricted dividend payments by banks with high Non Performing Loans (NPLs) and low Capital Adequacy Ratio, CAR from paying dividend to their shareholders.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Communication Week Media Limited.