The Future of Artificial Intelligence and UBA’s Success with LEO

Around the world, the hype around Artificial Intelligence keeps accelerating as the end goal is to simplify conversations and processes. Having keyed into this trend three years ago, the United Bank for Africa recently crossed an unprecedented 3 million user mark, thus serving an ever-increasing clientele who now have less transaction hassles to worry about, Chiemelie Ezeobi reports

For the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, one factor has always been key- customer satisfaction. It was on its continuous quest not to drop the ball that the dream of tapping into the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) was born.

Through its AI Chat Bot, LEO, launched three years ago, they have simplified the banking process for its millions of customers across the globe, while strengthening conversations.

Three years down the line, the Chat Bot

has proven to be the most formidable artificial intelligence chat bot till date; serving an ever-increasing clientele who now have less transaction hassles to worry about.

Artificial Intelligence

What is Artificial Intelligence and how does it work one might ask? Essentially, AI is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. This is done by ingesting large amounts of labeled training data, analysing the data for correlations and patterns.

These patterns, either text or image recognitions, are then used to make predictions about future questions, thereby producing lifelike exchanges with people.

LEO Chat Bot

With the tagline “I am LEO an artificial intelligence personality bringing banking through a simple conversation”, the Pan-African Bank’s virtual banker has proven to be a chat buddy who is always available 24/7 and is an repository of knowledge, especially when it comes to helping with banking services.

The bot can amongst other things open an account, make transfers, buy airtime for yourself and others, check your account balance, send bank statements to embassies, freeze accounts, help with travel notifications, stop cheques, get your mini statement and make enquiries.

Summarily, the AI Chat Bot’s goal is to make banking services less boring by making transactions simple, easy and fast just by having a conversation.

LEO, UBA’s AI chatbot for banking services, which is currently available on Face-book Messenger, WhatsApp, Apple Device, would soon be launched on other social media platforms given the successes recorded already.

According to UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, LEO is already present in over 20 African countries and in three languages and has a number of rich and robust features bound to mesmerise existing and potential customers with services that are extremely fast and secure as all transactions and enquiries are encrypted, end-to-end, adding that LEO has the ability to do a wide range of things.

He further noted that the AI chatbot also boosts of remarkable innovative features that allows customers make banking services –Log & track complaints, ATM/Branch Locator, check weather, Customer Care complaint resolution, linking of new account, flight Payment, linking and funding of Prepaid Card, travel notification, Wakanow services and Dubai Visa service, call card top-up, checking of account balance, retrieval of bank statements, instant account openings for new customers, statement to embassy/other banks/microfinance, purchase of airtime/ data, paying of bills (LCC, PHCN, Cable TV), effectively helping with savings and spend limit.

Impact

Birthed January 11, 2018, with a firm resolve to prioritise its customers as well as put the bank at the heart of disruptive technologies that will transform the experience of esteemed customers, UBA did just that with a million users becoming hooked in less than three months of its LEO’s inception.

Three years after its launch, LEO, which is the first of a kind Artificial Intelligence, has made massive impact in digital banking across Nigeria and 20 African countries, where the bank is present. With its recent crossing of an unprecedented milestone grossing the 3 million user mark, reviews have adjudged LEO as the smartest Banking Chat Bot in Africa. But that is not even the catch, rather, the customer satisfaction derived by the bank’s ever-increasing clientele who now have less transaction hassles to worry about.

Dominating Force in Cutting-edge Technology

UBA offers banking services to more than 25 million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and customer touch points, in 20 African countries. With presence in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail; commercial and corporate banking; innovative cross-border payments and remittances; trade finance and ancillary banking services.

It was therefore not surprising that UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, affirmed that UBA customers indeed agree that LEO is one of the bank’s biggest investments in cutting-edge technology and has been steadily changing the face of banking in the continent.

Expatiating, Uzoka noted that “UBA’s vision has always been and will remain a dominating force in Africa’s digital banking space. Our resolve is to provide unparalleled experience across all channels.

“We are a technology-driven institution with vast knowledge in the business that we do and LEO, being a tested, dependable and intelligent personality, replicated on WhatsApp the success it recorded on the Facebook Messenger platform where it started its journey and later on the IOS (iPhone Operating System) platform.

” It is a solution that is from the customer’s standpoint, easy to use by anyone regardless of demography. LEO is always ready and waiting to help with any form of banking service.

“As an app that has been in existence for over nine years, reaching more than 1.5 billion people in over 180 countries, WhatsApp has become very essential in lifestyle and that is why UBA saw the need to include LEO’s services in that very important app and the premium private chat platform has assured that there will be no spam messages, as the development is to enable businesses serve their customers with useful information.”

Reviews

The GMD pointed out that, customers who have engaged with LEO are more than delighted about their experience and credit it for automatically extracting account details without hassles, adding that “Testimonies abound about how it is generally easier to use LEO compared to its counterparts. For example, LEO automatically detects account numbers via a customer’s WhatsApp mobile number and goes ahead to seamlessly help customers check their account balance as well as top-up airtime”.

Reviews from customers note that LEO is more personable, more humane, and it feels like talking to an experienced customer service/Fulfilment representative. The Bot also allows customers to easily lodge and process complaints with adequate and timely feedback.

From the reviews, LEO’s unique selling point is its speed and quick learning intelligence, which has continued to evolve with plenty to offer its teeming customers. This for the bank is such a huge deal as they have gained grounds where others are still trying to find their feet as regards AI.

At the moment, given the massive success, the bank is bent consolidating it successes and accolades especially as they have garnered several awards overtime. In doing this, the chat bot continues to enjoy periodic and systematic upgrade with special emphasis on enhanced advancements and specialised unique features which have clearly earned the chatbot over 3 million users.

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