With the ever-increasing customer expectations of quick service and near real-time transactional support, United Bank for Africa (UBA) committed resources to Artificial Intelligence (AI) a year ago, birthing Leo, a Banking Chatbot that helps customers carry out key banking transactions anywhere, using mobile devices and personal computers.
Leo can be accessed via Facebook or WhatsApp.
“Our customers are increasingly asking for mobile services that make their lives easier, and Leo is becoming a growing choice for his convenience and personal solutions,” says Austin Abolusoro, who heads Online Banking at UBA.
Leo combines the latest technology in AI; predictive analytics and natural language, to be a virtual financial assistant to customers, who can interact with it any way they choose, including texting or tapping options on their screen. Leo has proven to be an important financial assistant, helping users to search for transactions, view account history and balance, pay bills, as well as track spending trends. Leo is also developing interest in other aspects of users’ lives and currently helps them to check football scores and weather information. Leo will continue to learn and become more involved in the lives of users to better meet their needs and address their queries.
“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,” Abolusoro adds.
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, says Abolusoro, Head of online banking, who assured customers of “nothing short of the very best innovation in the coming months”.
Leo is set to become a financial control centre for its wide range of users, offering them accessible and intelligent ways to manage their money. It will also be recommending ways to save money and automatically switch to the best value products available to the user.
Leo who speaks multiple languages and is extremely user friendly, has become the preferred Banking Chatbot in Nigeria and the only available AI banking chatbot in 15 other countries across Africa, including Cameroon, Zambia, Cote D’Ivoire, Senegal, Congo DRC, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and UBA’s latest subsidiary, Mali.
In 12 short months 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.
Mark Angel Gets His Own Mouka Flora Mattress
Mark Angel best known for the Mark Angel Comedy series, often featuring his child comedian niece, Emmanuella, just received the new Mouka Flora mattress.
In the viral comedy skit called MANCHELOR Part 2, Mark Angel falls in love with the new Mouka Flora mattress while Emmaneulla and his neighbours urge him to get married “Now that Emmanuella has bought you mattress, Oya go and marry. Have you not old? You have passed menopause, very soon you will reach menostop”.
The new Mouka Flora mattress is redesigned to offer exceptional comfort and provide consumers with quality sleep. According to Mouka’s Senior Brand and Innovation Manager, Jide Odelola says “Nigerians can now enjoy superior comfort and durability of the new Mouka Flora mattress to ensure they wake up feeling energized the next morning.”
Mouka is reputed in the industry for its world class manufacturing technology. Other brands within Mouka’s portfolio include: Mondeo Spring mattress, Dreamtime water resistant children mattress, Regal Orthopaedic mattress, Regina semi-orthopaedic mattress and Mouka Mozzi range of insect repellent products.
GTBank Releases 2019 Half Year Audited Results, Reports Profit before Tax of N115.8Billion
Guaranty Trust Bank plc has released its audited financial results for the half year ended June 30, 2019 to the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges.
The half year result shows positive growth across key financial metrics and reflects GTBank’s leading position as one of the best managed financial institutions in Africa. The Bank reported a Profit before Tax of ?115.8billion, representing a growth of 5.6% over ?109.6billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018. The Bank’s loan book grew by 1.0% from ?1.262trillion recorded as at December 2018 to ?1.274trillion in June 2019 and customer deposits increased by 6.3% to ?2.418trillion from ?2.274trillion in December 2018.
The Bank closed the half year ended June 2019 with Total Assets of ?3.598trillion and Shareholders’ Funds of ?603.0Billion. In terms of Asset quality, NPL ratio and Cost of Risk improved to 6.8% and 0.2% in June 2019 from 7.3% and 0.3% in December 2018 respectively. Overall, asset quality remains stable with adequate coverage of 84.7%, while Capital remains strong with CAR of 23.5%. On the backdrop of this result, Return on Equity (ROAE) and Return on Assets (ROAA) stood at 33.7% and 5.8% respectively. The Bank is proposing an interim dividend of 30kobo per ordinary share of 50 kobo each for period ended June 30, 2019.
Commenting on the financial results, the Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Segun Agbaje, said; “We have delivered a good result inspite of a challenging market, characterized by varying degrees of uncertainty and a rapidly changing competitive landscape. Our strong financial performance is underpinned by our unwavering focus on delivering value for our shareholders and reimagining the role we play in our customers’ lives.”
He further stated that “In a rapidly changing world and increasingly unpredictable environment, we are committed to building a long-term business that is both nimble and focused on flawless execution. The progress that we have made over the past six months demonstrates that we have the right strategy and the dedicated team to deliver for all our stakeholders, even in difficult conditions.”
The Bank has continued to report the best financial ratios for a Financial Institution in the industry with a return on equity (ROE) of 33.7% and a cost to income ratio of 37.6% evidencing the efficient management of the banks’ assets. These ratios are a testament to the competent and experienced management and work-force, efficient balance sheet structure and operational efficiency of the Bank. In recognition of the Bank’s bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service delivery and innovation, GTBank has been a recipient of numerous awards over the years. Some of these include Africa’s Best Bank and Best Bank in Nigeria from Euromoney Magazine, and Best Banking Group and Best Retail Bank by World Finance Magazine.
In commitment to transparency, NNPC announces new DSDP bid winners
In line with its avowed commitment to transparency and accountability in all its activities as committed by the new Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, the National Oil Company has announced winners of its 2019/2020 Direct Sale of Crude Oil and Direct Purchase of Petroleum Products (DSDP) arrangement.
A release on Sunday in Abuja by the Corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said following the completion of the 2019/2020 DSDP tender exercise, 15 consortia/companies made up of reputable and experienced international companies and Nigerian Downstream companies emerged successful to undertake the 2019/2020 DSDP arrangement.
The contract is for one year effective 1st October, 2019 to 30th September, 2020.
It listed the successful companies as follows:
1. BP OIL INTERNATIONAL LTD./AYM SHAFA LTD.
2. VITOL SA/CALSON-HYSON
3. TOTSA TOTAL OIL TRADING SA/TOTAL NIG. PLC
4. GUNVOR INTERNATIONAL B.V./AY MAIKIFI OIL & GAS CO. LTD.
5. TRAFIGURA PTE LTD./A. A. RANO NIG. LTD
6. CEPSA S.A.U./OANDO PLC
7. MOCOH SA/MOCOH NIG. LTD.
8. LITASCO SA/BRITTANIA-U NIG. LTD./FREEPOINT COMMODITIES
9. MRS OIL & GAS COMPANY LTD
10. SAHARA ENERGY RESOURCE LTD
11. BONO ENERGY LTD./ETERNA PLC/ARKLEEN OIL & GAS LTD./AMAZON ENERGY
12. MATRIX ENERGY LTD./PETRATLANTIC ENERGY LTD./UTM OFFSHORE LTD./LEVENE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT LTD
13. MERCURIA ENERGY TRADING SA/ BARBEDOS OIL & GAS SERVICES LTD./RAINOIL LTD./PETROGAS ENERGY
14. ASIAN OIL & GAS PTE LTD./ EYRIE ENERGY LTD./ MASTERS ENERGY OIL & GAS LTD/CASIVA LTD
15. DUKE OIL COMPANY INCORPORATED.
The release stated that the tender process comprised technical and commercial bid submission respectively, evaluation and shortlisting, then commercial negotiations with prequalified companies and engagement of the successful consortia/companies by NNPC.
“Under the DSDP arrangement, the under listed fifteen (15) consortia/companies shall over the contract period, offtake crude oil and in return, deliver corresponding petroleum products of equivalent value to NNPC, subject to the terms of the agreement”, the release declared.
In his takeover note on 8 July, 2019, the newly appointed NNPC GMD, Mallam Kyari, had promised to open NNPC books to public scrutiny, saying as a publicly owned company Nigerians deserve to know about the operations of the Corporation.
He reiterated his management’s team commitment to transparency and accountability when he had a maiden Town Hall engagement with the staff of the Corporation where he launched the team’s policy direction tagged: Transparency, Accountability, Performance and Excellence (TAPE).
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