UBA: Reimagining digital banking for next frontier
In this full page article, the writer unequivocally notes that One of the things that the Covid-19 crisis that hit the world from the beginning of this year has been able to do, is nudge a lot of people to rely more on digital reach, which has proven to be limited in range; despite the effectiveness of available technology, gaps still remain and an institution like UBA is playing ahead of its peers, seizing the opportunity to close the gap and push the boundaries. It reads: The unexpected lockdown in some major cities in the country, no doubt represented the critical need to adopt virtual banking, as physical visits to banking halls became restricted by the shelter in place protocol. Beyond cash transactions on Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), using Point of Sale terminals and paying bills, customers needed to also be able to access loans, pay salaries, resolve issues and a lot more. Indeed digital banking has been the talk of the industry over the years and banks in the country continue to invest in technology that would make banking convenient and accessible to their customers irrespective of where they are or the time of day. Group Head, Consumer and Retail Bank of UBA, Mr. Jude Anele, whilst stressing that digital banking has taken over the front seat in the industry noted that “what COVID-19 has done for Africa from a positive perspective would actually hasten the adoption of digital banking which is actually the most cost-effective way to reach the unbanked. “What would take effect now and in the near future in payments in banks would largely be contactless payments. And contactless payments would happen largely around person to person transfers, USSD and that would include many people. I think that Covid-19 is a blessing in disguise for digital penetration in Africa especially.” Anele said. “The most cost-effective way to reach the banked and unbanked is through the mobile phone. Reason is that the mobile phone has the greatest penetration across Africa. Today, COVID-19 has done and before COVID -19, the adoption and the rate at which people take to technology was very low, even those that are literate found it very difficult to use these devices. Some on an account of security concerns but what has happened during and most likely post COVID-19 is that people would have no choice but to begin to go that space. “The era of people going to ATMs to punch keys, slotting cards at POS terminals where you need to use your fingers to punch the buttons is fast becoming unfashionable because of health concerns. This reality is making contactless payment systems more attractive and looking more like the future of transactions
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