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.
Transcorp Hotels MD laments neglect of tourism sector
The managing director/chief executive officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, has lamented the neglect of the Nigeria’s tourism sector by governments at all levels.
Ozigbo revealed that this was demonstrated by the abysmal marketing of the sector by relevant ministries and agencies of government.
Speaking at a national tourism transport summit and expo in Abuja, yesterday, he advised the relevant ministries and agencies of government at the federal and state levels to spearhead the marketing of the tourism sector in Nigeria, saying doing so would help in leapfrogging the sector into a major revenue earner.
He said: ‘‘If well harnessed, the tourism sector, with its vast potential, could displace oil as the nation’s highest revenue earner.’’
Ozigbo, who was a panel discussant in one of the sessions of the event on “Marketing Destinations in Nigeria: What Role for the Transportation and Tourism Sectors”, stated that everywhere in the world, governments play the critical role of enablers and marketers of the tourism sector while the private sector acts as the driver.
According to him, with the kind of symbiotic relationship between the government and the private sector in the tourism business, the former should spearhead the marketing role while the latter drives the process.
He noted that the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, for instance was expected to be the chief marketing officer of the tourism potential in the nation’s capital.
According to him, doing so would equipped the minister with the challenges in the sector and propel him to seek solutions with a view to boosting it.
He also explained that with the absence of a potent marketing of the tourism potential in the FCT, Transcorp Hotels Plc had gone out of the way to market and ensure that its customers are availed of the pleasure of visiting some tourism sites in the FCT.
“In Transcorp, we’re not only serving our customers, but selling the city. We’ve been putting together tourism destinations. Our job will be made easier when the government plays their role,” he said.
He also recalled the strides of a former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke in marketing the tourism potential of that state, which eventually etched the Obudu Resort and other sites in the state on the global map.
Forex: CBN intervenes with another $210 million
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has made available the sum of $210million, to meet customers’ requests in various segments of the foreign exchange market.
In its quest to meet customers’ needs in the various segments of the market, the CBN offered $100million to authorized dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment got the sum of $55 million. According to figures obtained from the Bank on Wednesday, 23rdMay, 2018, customers needing foreign exchange for invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), among others, were also allocated the sum of $55 million.
It will be recalled that the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, during his post-MPC remarks on 22ndMay, 2018 said that the country’s foreign reserve stood at $47.79billion and that pressure on the foreign reserve would be reduced as a result of the recent currency swap between the CBN and the Peoples Bank of China.
Also, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department (CCD), Mr. Isaac Okorafor, reiterated the Bank’s commitment to continue to intervene in the interbank foreign exchange market, in line with its pledge to sustain liquidity in the market and maintain stability. Mr. Okorafor said that the CBN would sustain its strategic management of forex, with a view to reducing the country’s import bills and halting depletion of its foreign reserves.
The Bank last Friday, May 18, 2018, intervened to the tune of $293 million to cater for requests in the retail segment of the forex market.
Meanwhile, the naira continued its stability in the FOREX market, exchanging at an average of
N363/$1 in the BDC segment of the market on Wednesday, May 23, 2018.
UBA to reward loyal customers in ‘Refer-a-Friend’ campaign
Pan-African Financial Services Institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc will be rewarding its loyal customers who refer friends and family to the bank in its new diaspora campaign.
The campaign is designed to reward customers of the bank who refer their Diaspora friends/relatives to open a UBA account.
Specifically, this campaign will last for three months and the bank will be rewarding any customer who refers other customers with the reward of N5,000 for every successfully opened new and funded account.
For instance, new and existing customers who refer friends and relatives in the Diaspora to open new UBA accounts will be eligible to grab the reward for as many times as the number of people they refer.
According to the campaign managers, the referrer who must have an account with UBA, will have his/her account number inputted in the provided field by the referred. The account number is expected to serve as a reference code for paying the reward, and once the new Diaspora account is funded with a minimum of $100, $100, £100, €100 or N50,000, for a one-month period, the reward sum of N5,000 will be automatically credited into the Referrer’s account.
They further explained that the campaign which kicks-off on May 22, 2018, involves no raffle draws, customers just refer, and redeem their cash prizes after successful funding of the new account.