United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc. has announce that its famous chatbot Leo now covers 17 African countries and has one million subscribers. It was announced at the kick-off of the week-long Social Media Week (SMW) Lagos 2019.
Leo was launched in January 2018 to enable customers of the bank have access to select banking services including account opening, loan applications, account balance checking, cheque confirmations, bill payment, account freezing and instant notifications.
Described as an “alpha version” by digital enthusiasts, Leo has surpassed one million users on the bank’s mobile app, in just 12 months because of its numerous benefits and acceptability, a feat its close rivals have not been able to attain.
The AI-driven virtual assistant, which also has Facebook and WhatsApp banking capabilities, was first unveiled in January and today, one year later remains the preferred chat banker in Nigeria and across Africa where UBA is present, because it has clinically leap frogged others in every sense of it.
Kennedy Uzoka, the bank’s Managing Director had in 2018 at the unveiling of the chatbot, said;
“The formulation of this product is consistent with the bank’s customer first philosophy, where we are doing things not the way we like, but focusing on what the customer want, where they want it and in the exact platform they want it.”
However, Augustine Abolusoro, Head, Online Banking, UBA Plc. in a presentation titled; Game of Bots at the Social Media Week 2019 disclosed that;
“Leo is not just the first Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered chatbot in Africa; it is also a multi-lingual chatbot with capability to speak languages like English, French, and Portuguese. The company plans to include Yoruba and other Nigerian languages very soon. Leo was developed with best in class AI technology: Natural language processing and machine learning. It enables financial inclusion.”
“As we continue to advance our work on AI-driven developments, it is important that we listen to our users today and further enhance Leo to align to client feedback in order to better meet and anticipate needs and even give them increased value as Leo clocks one.”
“This milestone reflects the bank’s continued focus on providing industry-leading digital capabilities as part of its high-tech, high-touch client experience. Everything learnt over the last one year of Leo’s work will help UBA improve on its digital offerings. It is assured that nothing short of the very best innovation in the coming months.”
“As a result of the feature, Leo which is also available on Facebook-owned WhatsApp has gained one million subscribers. Till date it has hosted 70 million conversations. While 5 per cent of the subscriber population is within the age of 65 and above, an overwhelming 72 per cent are between 18 and 34 years. The Leo platform has the same kind of authentication you find on all our digital platforms.”
It is noteworthy that since he was launched, Leo has won several awards, including the Euromoney Award which aptly validates his dominance in the digital banking space. Euromoney is a globally renowned organisation which appraises 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.