By Nume Ekeghe
Pan-African financial services group, the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), has once again made an addition to its growing list of enviable laurels as it was named Africaâ€™s best bank in the Digital category at the prestigious Euromoney awards in London.
This, according to a statement from the bank, further lends credence to its dominance in the digital banking space.
The Euromoney awards ceremony, which took place in London on Wednesday, covers more than 20 global product categories, best-in-class awards and the best banks, in over 100 countries around the world, recognising institutions that have demonstrated leadership, innovation, and momentum in the markets in which they operate.
In selecting its recipients, Euromoneyâ€™s principle was hinged both on quantitative and qualitative data to honour institutions that have brought the highest levels of service, innovation and expertise to their customers.
The statement revealed that at the awards ceremony, UBA beat other nominees to emerge the â€˜Best institution in Digital Banking across Africa,â€™ which the bank described as an affirmation of its recent investment in cutting edge technology.
This, it further said, â€œgave birth to LEO, the chat banker that has disrupted banking across Africaâ€.
According to UBA, in its bid to be an undisputed leading financial services institution in Africa, in the area of innovation and technology, the bank has steadily included new and emerging trends to its range of solutions in-branches, across subsidiaries and on digital platforms.
It said: â€œThe emergence of LEO, has been a continuous directive to push the banking sector beyond financial services and to show that the bank truly comprehends the shift in operations and the movement of the global world with technology today.
â€œThe Euromoney award, which is a recognition of innovative products and services introduced by the bank in recent times and targeted towards meeting customer needs, comes on the heels of recent awards to UBA, including Finacle Client Innovation Awards and Best Bank Awards won by five of its subsidiaries across Africa by The Bankers Magazine. UBA was also declared the best Bank in Africa in 2017.â€
Receiving the award, the Group Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, UBA, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, appreciated the organisers for the recognition, noting that UBAâ€™s dedication to hard work and particular emphasis to offering quality services to customers were being acknowledged.
According to Uzoka, the award affirms the bankâ€™s strong management and unmatched commitment to service excellence.
He said: â€œThis only goes to show that our resolve in continuing to deploy innovative solutions that place customers first, using cutting edge technology for their collective satisfaction and excellent banking experience is important to us. This recognition will further spur us to do more in meeting the needs of our customers with unrivalled services.â€
Uzoka added: â€œFor us at UBA, the award is quite an accomplishment, considering Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook and President Emmanuel Macron of Franceâ€™s recent endorsements both of which centred on highlighting the distinguishing value of UBAâ€™s leading digital opportunities.
â€œAlso, our recent launch of LEO in 15 African countries is evidence that UBA has on its agenda, the objective of digital creativity especially in service for our trusted customer base across the African continent. This award reminds us as an institution not to relent in our pursuit of excellence and to continue to lead the new digital age in Africa, within the financial services industry.â€
On his part, Euromoney Magazineâ€™s Editor, Clive Horwood, explained that: “Despite fierce competition, one bank stood out in the last year for the inventiveness of its efforts in digital banking: United Bank for Africa. One of its signature launches in Nigeria was LEO, an e-chat service using artificial intelligence to help customers execute transactions on Facebook.
â€œRecently, Mark Zuckerberg gave a nod to the service, during a talk at a recent developersâ€™ conference â€“ a sign of its recognition at the highest levels of digital technology. The bank also recently added retina and fingerprint recognition and technology to reduce business travel greenhouse emissions. If it fulfills its ambitious plans to partner with fintech companies, UBA could continue to lead African banks in the area of digitisation. â€
UBA is one of Africaâ€™s leading banks with operations in 20 African countries, London, New York and Paris.
Adjudged to be at the forefront of innovation and convenient banking, UBA is one of the first financial services institutions on the continent to deploy Finacle 10x, a new information technology platform that boosts its services and electronic banking channels.
â€œToday, UBA provides banking services to more than 15 million customers globally, through diverse channels and over a thousand touch points,â€ the statement added.