By Stephen Ubanna
Loyal customers of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, a pan African Bank, involved in trading in goods and services’’ have no cause worry about their business.
This is because the global Bank has reassured its loyal customers who had been worried over the years over problems being encountered in their business, particular, in the area of transfer of money to oversea suppliers that ‘’it is dedicated to facilitating intra African trade and financial inclusion, by providing premium services, through consistent innovation and relentless investment in technology’’.
Chiugo Ndubisi,, the Bank’s Group Executive, Transformation and Resources, gave the assurance on Thursday, November 7. 2019, during the Africa Day Celebration, at theLagos International Trade Fair.
Ndubisi, who delivered a lecture titled: ‘Boosting Intra Africa Trade: Institutions, Finance and Technology,’ noted that given the importance of intra-African trade. The Bank have put in place’’ innovative and technological services to support it’’. . The Executive disclosed that ‘’with the’s Bank Africash services, the problems encountered by Customers in intra-African money transfer would now be a thing of the past. as ‘’customers could easily move money around for trade and investment within the African continent and beyond with the Africash services.
He opined that the global Bank had taken up the Financial Inclusion challenge, using different digital channels to expand access to its financial services.
He stressed that in its quest to make every branch of the Bank a home branch to customers, regardless of the country they came from in the African Continent, ‘’it had introduced the ‘’UBA Connect’’, another service developed to effectively support trade in member countries of the Central African sub-regional Economic and Monetary Community ,CEMAC, an economic bloc similar to the Economic Community Of West African States, Trade Liberalisation Scheme, ECOWAS ETLS..
An elated Ndubisi, was said to have told the participants on the’’ Bank’s Day’’ at the Fair that they have recorded ‘’massive success in this regard,”, noting that customers in the CEMAC region, comprising of – Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Democratic Republic, CADR ,and Zaire could now heave a sigh of relief. Customers in the West African sub-region, particular, Tchad, Equatorial Guinea and the southern African country of Eritera, a breakaway of Ethiopia, were also said to be enjoying instant access to their accounts in the bBnk’s branches anywhere within their respective regions.
. Financial analysts believe that the services that the services that had been developed by the Bank in the recent time were in line with its belief that ‘’greater access to financial services can contribute to increase in the productivity of businesses, especially Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises ,MSMEs, described as the –engines of economic growth in the continent’’.
The Staff, according to sources, are excited about the possibilities the future holds for intra-African trade, with the required number of countries that had ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement ,AfCFTA.
In taking the decision at one of its extra –ordinary Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, the African Heads of State and Government believes that the ‘’Agreement’’ will create a single African market of more than a billion consumers with a total GDP of over $3 trillion’’.
This may have informed why UBA plc, the Pan African Bank has positioned itself to support individuals and businesses in order to benefit from the AfCFTA project..
Babatunde Ruwase, President, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry,LCCI, who could not hide his joy that UBA had partnered with the Chamber to organise the 2019 Trade Fair, and the gains it had brought to participants, particular the ‘’SMEs’’ observed that AfCFTA, would benefit all the African countries which have signed the agreement. Note that President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Agreement at Niamey, Niger last July for Nigeria and Patrice talon, his counterpart in Republic of Benin signed for his country. The two West African countries were said to haave signed individual agreement to further cement their bond of relationship in their trading business.
It is not surprising why Ruwase is optimistic that the pact will boost trade in a continent with a population of 1.2 billion and market size of about U$2.5 trillion, as ‘’it would allow members to specialise in their areas of comparative advantage.”
The LCCI boss, however, fears that the pact 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’’.
Recall that the UBA ‘’self-printing debit card machine’’ which allows for seamless business transactions with great value to customers and businesses’’ was launched by the Bank at the Fair which was widely welcome as a step in the right direction by participants who urged other Banks to emulate the step taken by the Pan African Bank to do same.
The Product, according to Victor Osadolor, Chief Executive Officer, UBA Africa, is a ‘’Self Service Mobile Kiosk designed to give customers control of their Banking transactions as they can initiate and complete their f requests with little or no interaction with the Bank Staff’’.
Osadolor explained that the Self-service debit card printing also allows customers to obtain personalised debit cards at their convenience with faster Turn Around Time. ,TAT stressing that a cardinal goal of instant card issuance is the reduction of the time expended in furnishing the customer a debit/credit card.
He noted that the self-service solution takes the customer further by ceding the responsibility of the CSO to the person who initiates the process and follows it through till a card is produced’’.
The services available on the Self Service Kiosk; include Statement of Account Printing, Card hot listing, Account Opening/Customer onboarding, Funds Transfer, Airtime recharge, Bills Payments and so much more, he had said.
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