UBA - United Bank for Africa

In a bid to improve financial services with the aid of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the United Bank for Africa (UBA) on Monday unveiled the first Artificial Intelligence Chatbot in Africa.

The Group Head, Online, Mr Austin Abolusoro, made this known during the 2019 Social Media Week (SMW), Lagos.

The SMW has as its theme: “Stories: With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility’’.

SMW is one of the world’s premiere conferences and industry news platforms for marketers.

It provides brands, agencies and technology providers with the latest insights, trends and best practices together with access to a global community of marketing decision makers.

Abolusoro said that the Chatbot named Leo was developed in partnership with some global giants, like the Facebook.

“Leveraging on technology has many possibilities which are unlimited and UBA has explored it and brought out the AI Chatbot based on our roadmap to enable financial inclusion.

“Leo is a financial assistant developed with best on class AI technology that has natural language, multi-lingual processing, machine-learning and available on two most popular social media channels.

“Leo is built in-house right here in the UBA house,” he said.

He listed some of the statistics on Leo as: operating within an average time of five minutes; useful to people within the ages of 18 to 24; had one million subscribers within one year of its existence; and had 70 million conversation on the platform.

Abolusoro said that as regards answers to attending to customers’ needs, Leo when not being able to give the required information, would automatically hand the customer over to a human being.

He said that a major difference between the bank’s bot and its competitors was the stability of the platform because of its partnership with global giants.

Abolusoro said that as regards security, the bot having an artificial intelligence was one and also its being a digital platform, also makes use of the security of the mobile banking platform.

“One can do a lot of lifestyle-related activities on Leo, from weather-checking to football fans knowing updates of their Premier League clubs.

“In terms of user-friendly, it is the most-friendly platform one can come across as it chats with one as though one is chatting with friends.

“That is one of the reasons why people stay a lot on social media because of the fun of it. You are chatting and somebody is responding to you.

“It is the same way with Leo, you will just feel you are chatting with a human being. The point is, Leo responds instantly at any moment, ‘’ he said.

Abolusoro said that the bot responds to complaints from customers as regards transactions and after checking on details provided, would give it a log identification and tell you within number of days the issue would be resolved.

“The prospect for us is to see how we can move as many of our customers that are within that demographics of using social media to the new platform.

“So we have attended to one million and this is significant for us but it is far from where we are. As many of our customers that will be ready or that are on social media today, we are urging them to do their banking on this platform.

“To achieve this, we need to introduce more features that will attract the customer, and they will opt in by themselves because they are going to see a lot of things that are fun,” he said.

Abolusoro explained that Leo would also serve as a savings option where it would help a customer to move money from one account to another with ease.

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