From John Silas, Lagos
United Bank for Africa (UBA) efforts to change the face of e-banking across key African markets has seen the financial house launching its flagship Chat Banking personality, Leo, in Senegal, Cameroon, Zambia, Cote D’Ivoire and Congo.
Since its official launch in Lagos beginning of the year, Leo has been very active in Africa’s biggest market, Nigeria, and has already brought ease to the customers, aiding them to do numerous transactions with ease.
Following the launch of the programme, customers as well as non-customers of the bank will be able to make use of their social media accounts to carry out numerous banking transactions from the comfort of their devices – mobile phones, laptops, tablets, palmtops and the likes.
The Group Managing Director, UBA, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, in a statement during the launch of Leo at the weekend in those African countries said that the interesting thing to note is that Leo, while delivering lifestyle and quality banking through the Facebook Messenger chat platform, has come into these markets with some new and additional features.
“For instance, users can derive vital information from the chatbot as he can provide the names of global personalities around key markets. Another new feature of Leo is that when asked, he can provide the current time in any city and the weather conditions making it easy for customers and non-customers who seek to navigate between cities to do so with ease.
“This, is in addition to the other key features of the artificial intelligence personality which include addressing any type of banking concerns raised by customers. They 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.
“Customers can easily lodge their complaints through the platform and can also view complaint tickets,” he said.
According to Mr. Uzoka, 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.
He 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.”
Noting that Leo will in the nearest future show up on other social platforms, Uzoka added that all it takes to enjoy the services is simply to have a Facebook account.
Also speaking at the launch of Leo, the Group Head of Online Banking at UBA, Mr. Austine Abolusoro, reiterated 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.”