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

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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.

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E-Financial

Regulators Mull Clampdown on Accounts, GSM Phones Used for Fraud

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) may soon introduce a scheme that will enable banks and telecommunications companies to ban owners of any bank account or the Global System for Mobile Communications line traced to fraud.

 

The CBN, NCC is reportedly working with the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) following the spate of electronic fraud involving (USSD banking) telephone lines and Internet banking transfers.

 

When introduced, owners of any bank account or GSM line traced to any fraud case, especially electronic fraud, would be banned for life from operating any bank account or GSM in Nigeria.

The pervasive electronic banking fraud in the banking sector has left customers, banks and regulators waxing worriedly.

 

Some experts claimed that the most significant risks to banks are self-serving or criminal acts carried out by some insiders.

 

According to them, when these insiders use their technical knowledge to alter or disable security controls, it can be even more difficult to detect abuse.

 

But it becomes more dangerous when insiders conspire with criminals outside, showing that depositors money in the banks are not safe.

 

For instance, fraudsters now inundate banks’ customers with SMSes to authenticate accounts with banks.

 

The preciseness of the messages with accompanying data show they could only have gotten the details from insiders in the banks.

Elsewhere, cyber security experts have also  berated telecommunications operators over the prevalence of SIM swap fraud in the country, arguing that such fraud could be possible with an insider in the network operator of the subscriber that is targeted.

 

SIM swapping is a sophisticated form of fraud and falls under social engineering. Fraudsters will distribute phishing emails, trying to ascertain as much personal information from victims as possible.

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E-Financial

FCMB Promotes Entrepreneurship Among Youths

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First City Monument Bank, FCMB, has sponsored capacity building programme for almost 1,000 members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC.

Tagged: ’Youth Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Programme’, it was in partnership with Activate Success Foundation.

Commenting on the initiative, Mr. Olu Akanmu, Executive Director, Retail Banking at FCMB,  said: “FCMB Flexx account empowers Nigerian youths with the entrepreneurial and employability skills they need. Many youths set up their own businesses from their campuses.

FCMB will be there with them to provide the necessary entrepreneurial and business skills they need to make great successes out of their businesses.

FCMB will also provide great support for the youth businesses and work with them to nurture and grow the youth entrepreneurial ventures.”

Also speaking, Founder Activate Success, Love Idoko said: ‘’I have a penchant for motivating people. There are business-minded youths out there that are just looking for mentorship or business ideas and funds to start their businesses.”

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E-Financial

Global Heists on ATM Machines Imminent- FBI

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America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned banks in Nigeria and others across the globe that criminals are gearing up to execute a global bank heist in the coming days.

 

In a recent confidential alert FBI told international banks that criminals are plotting a concerted global malware attack on cash machines in the next few days.

 

The FBI issued a warning about a highly choreographed fraud scheme known as an ATM “jackpotting”, or ATM cash-out,” in which crooks hack a bank or payment card processor and use cloned cards at cash machines around the world to take out millions in just a few minutes.

 

The alert said the agency had procured information indicating an attack was imminent and that it was likely an “unlimited operation,” which uses malware to exploit network access and get customers’ card information at a large scale.

Once the criminals get the card data, they create fraudulent copies using reusable magnetic strip cards (like gift cards) and hit the ATMs.

 

“Historic compromises have included small-to-medium size financial institutions, likely due to less robust implementation of cyber security controls, budgets, or third-party vendor vulnerabilities,” reads the confidential alert, which was sent to banks last Friday.

 

“The FBI expects the ubiquity of this activity to continue or possibly increase in the near future.”

 

The alert urges banks to review their security systems and use two-factor authentication with a physical or digital token.

 

Other tips include monitoring and limiting administrator and business accounts with the authority to modify typical fraud controls like maximum withdrawal amounts and number of daily ATM transactions.

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