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UBA Upgrades Digital Banking To Deliver First Rate Services To Customers

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To deliver first rate services to its millions of customers in Africa and even potential subscribers, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has upgraded its digital banking services.

Offering banking services to more than 20 million customers across 1,000 business offices and customer touch points in 20 African countries, according to the pan African bank, the upgrade which came in form of a new mobile banking app, is set to change the face of digital banking services.

A total upgrade from the former app, it has new features including four amazing themes and a more amazing graphical interface, just as it has another never-been-seen before feature where it blurs your account balance when you cover your phone’s censor.

Armed with benefits and features designed to give its customers increased control and accessibility to carry out transactions with ease, UBA Digital Banking Group Head, Kayode Ishola,

said the app has been tailor-made to give customers what they want, how and in the way they want it.

He made this disclosure during a virtual press parlay with both local and international media, adding that a lot of investment in cutting edge technology and attention to details was put into the new mobile app.

According to him, the new UBA Mobile App is “your personal finance manager built with a distinctive user interface that will change the face of banking.

“With this app, we are reimagining banking as our engagement has moved from being channel-based to being platform-based.

“The speed of the platform has been made to match the speed of light as we have cut down significantly on the number of processes expected to carry out your transactions.

“Interestingly, we have worked towards creating behavioural insight for our customers and working around this to address the real needs of our customers using the Omni channel platform and running on our open digital platform, which is very interactive and armed with lifestyle services. It is sleek and trendy with seamless user interface.”

On the security features of the app, UBA’s Group Chief Information Officer, Onyebuchi Akosa, said the new platform will revolutionise the way banking services are offered as it will deliver increased personalised banking via a watertight and highly-effective security system.

He said: “The new app has also been built with the best-in-purchase security features and has been modelled appropriately to ensure that all the features are working properly to secure transactions maximally.

“It is also important to mention that the bank took into consideration the virtually impaired, and thus has used voice recognition as a channel for transaction which suits both convenience and the visually impaired customers.”

Head, UBA SME Banking, Sampson Aneke, on his part noted that the app has been created with a high-level of intelligence because it can work based on frequent transactions.

He added that “it can also speak to the specific country where it is being used as the new mobile app runs concurrently in the 20 countries of UBA’s operation interacting in the different languages and cultures in line with the specific needs and regulation of the country in focus.

“This all-encompassing platform which boasts of a new user interface because of its sleek, modern nature of delivering seamless experience across several devics; can be used as a budgeting tool, loan application and also allows customers view their expenses according to their various categories such as the amount spent on data within a particular period.

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 Nigerians Can Use E-Naira Without Internet, CBN Insists

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has said Nigerians will be able to use e-naira without Internet-enabled phones.

The apex bank which disclosed this in a document with the title ‘Design paper for the eNaira,’ said maximising the value and use cases of the eNaira would depend largely on devices with Internet capabilities.

“The eNaira thus risks further alienating sections of the population who are uneducated, lack exposure and access to internet services or digital devices,” it said.

The document noted that the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education estimated that 35 per cent (37.1 million) of the nation’s adult population was illiterate, adding that the CBN risked losing adoption to this segment of the population, PUNCH reported.

“To mitigate this risk, the bank factored in the need for inclusiveness as part of the core design principle of the eNaira. This principle has enabled the bank to focus on simplicity and ease of use, ensuring that Nigerians without Internet-enabled phones can access the service,” the CBN added.

The apex bank said the eNaira would complement existing payment options available via the mobile banking apps, Point of Sale terminals, USSD, quick response code and Internet banking, among other channels.

GSMA, a global industry organisation that represents the interests of mobile network operators, had said in a recent report that 19 per cent of people living in Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries did not have access to mobile broadband coverage.

According to the organisation, about 47 per cent (210 million people) in sub-Saharan Africa do not use mobile internet.

In its design paper, the apex bank said to ensure inclusive access while also ensuring the integrity of the financial system, the account-based Central Bank Digital Currency model has been chosen for the eNaira.

The CBN said, “The account-based CBDC model at its core mirrors the progress made on the National Financial Inclusion Strategy which enables access to financial services by leveraging last-mile networks to identify users and to provide banking services through channels such as PoS and USSD.

“With the account-based model, the CBN seeks to enable access by leveraging the existing identity infrastructure in Nigeria such as the BVN, NIN, TIN, etc., to uniquely identify individuals and corporate entities.

“Specifically, identity frameworks such as the NIN will enable access for the financially excluded as they can be uniquely identified, thereby enabling the provision of financial services. These identity systems will help ensure a robust KYC framework positioned to enable access for all Nigerians.”

The CBN added that interoperability between the eNaira and other CBDCs was factored into the design of the eNaira.

It said this would help improve cross-border payments and address issues of dollarisation of the economy.

Visa, a payments company, recently said ease of operating CBDCs would determine the success of digital currencies.

It said, “We believe that for CBDCs to be successful, they must have two essential ingredients: a great consumer experience and widespread merchant acceptance. It means the ability to make and receive payments, regardless of currency, channel, or form factor.”

According to Visa, as the number of digital currency networks increases, the likelihood that consumers, businesses, and merchants are transacting on the same network and utilising the same type of money decreases.

“But interoperability ensures that different networks can communicate and share data with each other,” it said.

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Access Bank Acquires 78.15% Stake In Botswana’s Fifth Largest Bank

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Access Bank Plc has announced the acquisition of 78.15 per cent stake in African Banking Corporation of Botswana Limited.

In a statement released to the Nigerian Exchange Limited and investing public signed by its company secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, the bank said the acquisition would form part of the bank’s linkage point for trade and payments in Southern Africa and the larger Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa region.

According to Access, BankABC is Botswana’s fifth largest bank with sustainable capitalisation and franchise to aid its growth in its local market. The acquisition would provide an opportunity for Access to deploy its digital platforms and product suites to benefit BankABC Botswana’s customers and enable it compete effectively across its core business segments.

The Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, Dr Herbert Wigwe, said that the acquisition would provide significant synergies through the combination of BankABC Botswana’s “strong retail banking operations” with Access Bank’s wholesale banking capabilities.

“It will also strengthen the quality of earnings through revenue diversification and growth in the corporate and SME banking segments for BankABC Botswana,” he said.

Wigwe added that the combination would take Access a step further in its banking and corporate goals.

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Winners Emerge In UBA Savings Promo

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Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa Plc, says it has rewarded its customers in its Bumper Savings Promo in line with its commitment towards prioritising its customers’ financial wellbeing as well as boosting savings culture in Nigeria.

A statement from the bank on Friday said that since it commenced the promo in 2020, over 200 winners had emerged from the initiative that continued to reward loyalty and encourage customers to cultivate savings habit that helped to stay afloat especially during challenging times.

It stated that the promo was opened to account holders of the bank from the six geographical zones in Nigeria, and customers only needed to open a UBA Bumper account and save a minimum of N5,000 in a month to qualify.

“The more multiples of N5,000 they saved, the higher their chances of winning cash prizes and other juicy benefits,” it stated.

According to the bank, the electronic raffle draw, which was the 7th since inception, was witnessed by relevant regulatory bodies including the National Lottery Regulatory Commission and Consumer Protection Council who were on ground to ensure transparency and accountability.

It added that winners that emerged from the draw included Olunwa Ambrose who won the star prize of N2m, Saheed Adediran who, won N1.2m rent for a year; and Adewunmi Sobowale, who won N500,000 shopping allowance.

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