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UBA: Innovating Cutting Edge Banking Solutions Ahead Of Time

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UBA

By Lukmon Akintola

Synonymous with the financial institutions of third world countries like Nigeria are teething service challenges, especially in the digital sphere of the industry.

From poor customer care services, and indeed network-related issues, the challenges are boundless.

However, these challenges become next to nothing for a proactive and forward-thinking financial institutions that look beyound today and seek solutions ahead of bottlenecks.

Notable for such purposeful and futuristic customer-centric developments in Nigeria and indeed Africa’s financial sector is United Bank for Africa (UBA), the leading sub-Saharan African bank with over 20 million customers, 20,000 employees, and 1,000 branches across 20 African countries.

Having started business in 1949, today, UBA leads not only in its primary banking responsibilities, but in other areas including economic development, forging a new frontier in customer service, and cyber security, owing to an increase in the prevalence of cyber fraud in the continent.

Known to be a bank of many firsts, UBA a few years ago debuted the use of artificial intelligence in most of its banking services with the introduction of Leo, an innovative chat banking personality to revolutionalize digital banking on Thursday, January 11th, 2018.

With Leo, active on social media, customers on any UBA-verified platform could open an account, buy airtime, send money, pay bills, make complaints, withdraw without a card, block card, pay tax and so much more, making banking as simple as it gets.

Also, customers can receive instant transaction notifications, do data top-ups, seek mini-statements, loan applications, cheque confirmation, and account freezing, among others.

With a rebirth, marking the upgrade of Leo, it also took on more responsibilities such as attending to the challenges of UBA customers via major social media platforms including Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Apple Messages, Google Business Chat, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Google Plus, and UBA’s corporate blog.

The expansion of its e-banking channels globally through strategic partnerships with various local and international organizations cemented UBA’s place as one of the top three banks with effective use of social media in Nigeria, according to a social media report by Alder Consulting.

The proposed introduction of new Naira notes as announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on 26th October 2022, poses a new challenge for people with old currency, especially as the apex bank plans to roll out the new notes on December 15th, 2022, whilst invalidating existing Naira notes in January 2023.

With Nigerians already rushing to the bank to deposit their bulk cash in anticipation of the new notes, UBA in a bid to prevent last-hour panic and rush that is synonymous with this manner of transition has put up several channels to help its customer transit seamlessly.

To ensure that there is no stampede in the banking hall during normal banking hours, and to guarantee comfort, the financial institution has adjusted its branch opening hours and will now open on Saturdays for cash deposits only between the hours of 10 am to 2 pm. Typical of a bank that leads, several other financial institutions have since announced a similar if not a prototype arrangement.

A friendly bank, at UBA, this new arrangement attracts zero charges for all cash deposits, while the use of debit card via POS terminals are also open. Customers seeking more digital channels can download the New UBA Mobile app from App Store, or access other channels such as Internet Banking, and *919# for transactions.

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