Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA), has today, changed the face of e-banking with the introduction of Leo, the UBA Chat Banker who enables customers make use of their social media accounts to carry out key banking transactions.
At the official launch of Leo, UBA’s Chat Banker, which took place in Lagos on Thursday, customers of the bank were given a step by step demonstration on the novel way of delivering lifestyle and quality banking through the Facebook Messenger chat platform.
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.
With the launch of the Chat Banking, customers will be able to open new accounts, receive instant transaction notifications, check their balances on the go, transfer funds and airtime top up. They will also be able to confirm cheques, pay bills apply for loans, freeze accounts, request for mini statements, amongst other things.
At the occasion, the Group Managing Director, UBA, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, said that the launch of Leo is part of initiatives aimed at putting the bank’s customers first with UBA continuously developing strategies aimed at easing transactions for the bank’s numerous users, while ensuring utmost safety of their transactions.
Mr. Uzoka said, “The formulation of this product, is consistent with the bank’s customer 1st philosophy, where we are doing things not the way we like, but focusing on what the customers want, where they want it, and in the exact platform they want it.’
“At UBA, we have been working with technology giants that have the global capacity to ensure not only seamless but also effortless banking for millions of our customers across Africa. We at UBA, have collaborated with Facebook to come up with this innovation that is capable of revolutionising the way banking is done in Africa,” he said. Uzoka noted that Leo will in the nearest future, show up on other social platforms and added that all it takes to enjoy the services is simply to have a Facebook account.
As he unveiled the character of Leo, Uzoka stated: “Leo being an intelligent personality will give you feedback instantaneously as you transact your business on the platform. A solution that is from the customer’s standpoint and is easy to use by anyone’
Also speaking at the launch of Leo, the Group Head of Online Banking at UBA, Mr. Austine Abolusoro, who conducted a step by step demonstration on the working of Leo, reitirated that Leo is not just a chat machine, but an artificial intelligence personality meant to address any type of banking concerns raised by customers.
“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. 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 your account.”
He explained that with Leo your banking needs become easy and simple. As simple as chatting.
UBA was incorporated in Nigeria as a limited liability company after taking over the assets of the British and French Bank Limited who had been operating in Nigeria since 1949. The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc merged with Standard Trust Bank in 2005 and from a single country operation founded in 1949 in Nigeria – Africa’s largest economy – UBA has become one of the leading providers of banking and other financial services on the African continent. The Bank provides services to over 14 million customers globally, through one of the most diverse service channels in sub-Saharan Africa, with over 1,000 branches and customer touch points and robust online and mobile banking platforms.
UBA was the first Nigerian bank to make an Initial Public Offering, following its listing on the NSE in1970. It was also the first Nigerian bank to issue Global Depository Receipts. The shares of UBA are publicly traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Bank has a well-diversified shareholder base, which includes foreign and local institutional investors, as well as individual shareholders.
Microsoft 4Afrika partners FirstBank to support SMEs
On 18 January 2019, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, together with Microsoft 4Afrika, will host a free-to-attend event for SMEs in Nigeria, designed to promote technology adoption and skills development.
The event will serve as an official launch of the new partnership between Microsoft 4Afrika and FirstBank, following a memorandum of understanding signed earlier in June 2018. The partnership seeks to build the capacity of local SMEs andaccelerate their digital transformation, by providing them with exclusive and tailored non-financial solutions. Participants will be exposed to skills development resources, access to business networks and an educational platform.
According to Taiwo Shonekan, Head Customer Experience and Value Management, First Bank of Nigeria Limited: “This partnership with Microsoft enables us to deliver a portfolio of non-financial solutions to our SME customers. We have over the last 125 years supported SMEs in building their business, whilst contributing to the national economy. This partnership is a landmark step in our quest to leverage the influence of technology in businesses, especially in today’s digital age.”
“With this partnership, FirstBank customers can buy Microsoft products at discounted rates in the local currency – the naira – as this seamlessly aids technology adoption, skills and capacity development among SMEs in Nigeria,” she adds.
Amrote Abdella, Regional Director of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative and the keynote speaker for the event says: “For SMEs, integrating technology into their operations is no longer an option, but a necessity for future growth and success. We’re looking forward to engaging in discussions that explore how technology can extend reach to new markets and improve productivity, which results in better customer service, more competitive offerings and the ability to act with agility.”
Across the continent, Microsoft 4Afrika is forging partnerships with several players in the SME ecosystem – from banks to telcos – to enhance SME offerings and reach a broader audience.
“Technology and the relevant digital skills today play such an integral role in business success. We’re working with organisations to extend this support to as many SMEs as possible, ensuring not only their success, but the growth and competiveness of our continent in an increasingly digital world.”
Access Bank, Diamond Bank to unveil new identity after merger
The corporate identity of Access Bank Plc may have to change after the conclusion of its merger with Diamond Bank Plc in June 2019, Mr Herbert Wigwe and Mr Uzoma Dozie, CEOs of Access Bank and Diamond Bank respectively hinted in Lagos recently
While addressing customers of the financial institution, Mr Dozie said Access Bank will retain its name after the merger, while Diamond Bank will definitely lose its.
However, he disclosed that the new corporate identity of the new enlarged bank will reflect individual identities of the two merging lenders.
Late last year, Diamond Bank, a tier-1 one lender and Access Bank, a tier-2 financial institution, confirmed that they were coming together to become one.
This came after both companies had initially denied media reports that they were planning such move.
At the customer forum in Lagos, Mr Dozie, while responding to a question on whether the enlarged bank will have a new name, said, “I believe that the name will be Access Bank, but the identity will be the one that is recognised by both Access Bank and Diamond Bank.
“So, it will be……just as we have come here today to inform you of what we are doing and get your feedback, we are also going to have a customer forum to help us decide what is the best identity that when people see, they will say this is Diamond Bank, this is Access Bank.”
Giving more insight into Mr Dozie’s point, Mr Wigwe said, “Let me just add to that point, if you go to global banks like Barclays Bank and HSBC that have gone through mergers and acquisitions, you can keep an identity, but you can also make sure you reflect the identity of the different institutions and what they do.
“So, the retail will look like what you see in Diamond Bank so you don’t lose your connection; that is how it happens.
“If you look at the corporate logo and how things will come out, you will not see that you’ve not lost anything.
“Same thing for Access Bank customers, because you know we were also at the corporate end. We also have to be mindful of these customers as well.
“So, we have to do something that will sit nice for Access Bank customers and also sit nice for the retail business of Diamond Bank.”
At the moment, Access Bank logo has ‘access’ written in white colour on a blue background strip with three orange colour ‘>’ sign placed at the end of the word (access>>>).
UBA Customers win N30m in Wise Savers promo, N90m still up for grabs
Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has rewarded 20 loyal customers with N1,500,000 each, in the first edition of its quarterly draw for the ongoing UBA Wise Savers Promo, which was held at the bank’s headquarters in Lagos on Tuesday.
At the event, a total of N30,000,000 was won by 20 lucky customers who were selected following a draw that was witnessed by key regulatory officials including representatives of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, (NLRC); Lagos State Lottery, Board, (LSLB) Consumer Protection Council (CPC) as well as members of the media.
To qualify for the draws, new and existing customers of the bank are expected to save at least N10,000 each month for three consecutive months, or N30,000 for 90 days in the promo, which will run for the rest of the year. Apart from the N30 million won by 20 customers on Tuesday, another N90 million is still expected to be won by 60 more loyal customers in the remaining three quarters of the year.
The winners, who cut across all regions of the country, are: Nnadumije, Ebube Dawn; Onwochei Christiana Okwukwe; Eze Mathias Nnaji; Christian N Orie; Uka, Okwudiri; Okata Stephen Uche; Okafor Onyinye Esther; Nwanekezi Chimezie Jude; Ayomide V Yahaya and Olanegan, Oyetunde Keji.
Others are Emmanuel Onu Chidozie; Mohammed Fatima; Aminu, Mustapha; James Nanre; Pahinti Albert; Emmanuel O Adeniji; Jaki Movihinze Mercy; Saminu Muritala Mohammed; Ezeh Raphael Uballa; Uchenna Iheji.
When contacted on the phone, one of the 20 lucky winners; Nnadumije, Ebube Dawn, excitedly expressed gratitude to the bank and said he was happy to be a customer of the bank. He thanked the bank, and said the move was thoughtful and will help to enrich customers especially during these trying economic times.
The Group Executive, Digital and Consumer Banking, Mr. Anant Rao, who addressed participants at the event, said the promo was launched as part of the bank’s initiatives towards prioritising customers. He added that customers who save consistently would be rewarded in order to promote the financial inclusion initiatives of the bank. ‘We believe it is time we rewarded our customers who have been very loyal over the years. Without them, we would not have made the giant strides attained thus far’ .
According to Rao, “Because our customers are invaluable to all that we do, we listen and give them nothing short of the best that they deserve’
“We remain committed to consistently improving customer service and rewarding our loyal customers. The Wise Savers Promo seeks to compliment current initiatives aimed at growing savings,” he noted.