United Bank for Africa (UBA) plc has assured its customers that it is dedicated to facilitating intra-African trade and financial inclusion, by providing premium services through consistent innovation and relentless investment in technology.
This, the bank said, is targeted at spurring financial inclusion on the continent.
Chiugo Ndubisi, the bank’s group executive, transformation and resources, made this disclosure during the Africa Day Celebration at the 2019 Lagos International Trade Fair.
“As Africa’s global bank, we understand the importance of intra-African trade. Therefore, we have put services in place to support this. With Africash, our intra-African money transfer services, customers can easily move money around for trade and investment within the continent,” Ndubisi said at the event which had the theme ‘Boosting Intra-Africa Trade: Institutions, Finance and Technology’.
“More importantly, financial institutions like the UBA have taken up the Financial Inclusion challenge, using different digital channels to expand access to financial services,” he said.
Explaining UBA’s role in service delivery to its customers, Ndubisi said, “In our quest to make every UBA branch a home branch to our customers, regardless of the African country they come from, we introduced UBAConnect, a service that has effectively supported trade in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) region. We have recorded massive success in this regard.”
Ndubisi added that UBA customers in the CEMAC region – Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, the Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea – can enjoy instant access to their accounts in the bank’s branches anywhere within the region, explaining that these services are in line with the bank’s belief that greater access to financial services can contribute to increase in the productivity of businesses, especially Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) – engines of economic growth on the continent.
“At UBA, we are excited about the possibilities the future holds for intra-African trade, with the required number of countries ratifying the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA). The agreement will create a single African market of more than a billion consumers with a total GDP of over $3 trillion. UBA is well positioned to support individuals and businesses when AfCFTA comes into force,” he noted.
On his part, Ruwase while addressing the participants and business owners said the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is a welcome development, adding that almost all African nations have shown interest in the agreement.
Ruwase said, “We believe the pact will further boost trade in a continent with a population of 1.2 billion and market size of about U$2.5 trillion, as it allows members to specialize in their areas of comparative advantage.”
“However, it is important to note that AfCFTA may not work out as planned if members fail to reform their business environment, diversify their exports base, fix their infrastructural problems, address regulatory challenges as well as institutional constraints, and map out strategies to improve their economic competitiveness, he noted.
A high point of the event was the visit to UBA branch by Ndubisi, were a first- hand experience of UBA’s self- printing debit card machine was carried out. While at the branch it was a bee-hive of activity as tons of customers gathered in their numbers to enjoy the unique service recently introduced by the bank.
The new self-printing debit card machine allows for seamless business transactions with great value to customers and businesses. The Product is Self Service Mobile Kiosk designed to give customers control of the following Banking transactions as they can initiate and complete the following requests/transactions with little or no interaction with Bank staff.
Self-service debit card printing allows customers to obtain personalised debit cards at their convenience with faster Turn Around Time. (TAT). This hands control over to the customers to enjoy this service at any time of the day. It also allows customers to block their existing cards in case of theft or misplacement.
A cardinal goal of instant card issuance is the reduction of the time expended in furnishing the customer a debit/credit card. The self-service solution takes this further by ceding the responsibility of the CSO to the customer who initiates the process and follows it through till a card is produced.
The following services are also available on Self Service Kiosk; Statement Printing, Card hot listing, Account Opening/Customer on boarding, Funds Transfer, Airtime recharge, Bills Payments and so much more.