By Stephen Ubanna
The United Bank For Africa UBA, known as Pan African Bank, in Banking circles, appears to have taken advantage of the new year to introduce new services that would reduce the pressure on its teeming million Customers worldwide in the making remittances.
As a prelude to ensuring that Customers make foreign exchange remittances to relatives abroad with little or no problem, the Kennedy Uzoka, led Pan African Bank was said to have entered into a working relationship with top international money transfer operators.
This may have informed why the Money Deposit Bank , MDB, has created money transfer service to ensure that Customers could conveniently send and transfer money world- wide. The Bank has made it clear to Customers they can choose to receive money directly to their UBA account, collect and receive cash at any of its branches in the 20 African countries including Nigeria and other parts of the world.
The Bank money transfer services, the Value News was informed include Africash, Money Gram, Western Union and World Remit. Note that with Africash, which is an electronic payment service, helps for Customers to send and receive money from the Bank wide network business offices and Agent locations across the African Continent. The service , according to an insider source is open to both the Bank account and non –account holders. The good news is that Customers using the Africash service, can request for cancellation, modification and refund of unpaid transfers and it would be granted without stories.
The Bank may have taken steps to protect its valuable Customers from fraudsters by ensuring that account holders Bank Verification Number , BVN, current/Savings are active. For the non- account holders, using the global Bank money transfer services without BVN, the source disclosed that they are expected provide their international Passport, Driver’s License, National Identity Card and Voter’s Card.
The source confirmed that with the introduction of such money transfer services and going into partnership with top money transfer operators in Europe , Asia and the North American country of the United States, US, the Uzoka led Bank has made it easy for business men and international travellers and other categories of Customers to receive dollars in cash straight into their Domiciliary accounts without stories.
The Magazine gathered that with the Domiciliary account, Customers could access their funds through the USD, pay Foreign bills in dollars, spend with the Bank dollar card and equally make payments online through the POS world wide services. There is no gain saying the fact that the services are also useful for those traveling or sending money to their relatives abroad.
Many believe that the Domiciliary Advantage Account, which is another of such services is a current and savings denominated in in US dollar, Pound Sterling , EURO and other Foreign currencies but operated in Nigeria as domiciliary account. The third, Freedom domiciliary account , which is another USD foreign currency account with lower operating limits, for those who want to start saving or current are of immense benefits to the customers. Take for instance, the Dom Freedom account Customer, he or she do not require hundreds or thousands of dollars to start operating the account.
An informed source told The Magazine, that what the Customer only needed is a zero balance but expected to have at least a minimum operating Balance of $10 at every point in time . It is instructive to note that the Bank has also developed a serialized non-clearing cheque type withdrawal booklet used for withdrawal by the account holders only . For Customers who may not know much about the service, it is an interest bearing account.
The fourth of such domiciliary account, now being operated by the Pan African Bank, U-Care Plus, the Magazine gathered is a variant of the U-Care plus savings account , described in the Bank circles as an FCY account denominated in USD, GBP &EURO account. According to a UBA branch Manager who spoke to The Magazine on condition of anonymity, the account is for parents who want ‘’to save for their children’s secondary /tertiary education abroad’’.
As Customers of UBA, now have opportunity to open Domiciliary current and savings accounts, which could be operated while in Nigeria, the Uzoka led bank has really shown that it is an international Bank which could compete with other notable international Banks across the globe which have great reach. The Magazine findings shows that ever since the Nigerian leading Bank, started operating the Domiciliary savings and current account services, Customers within the country and the 20 otherAfrican countries where it has branch offices have taken advantage of the services to open such Dom accounts. They may have seen it as a better option of saving foreign currency for the rainy day instead of patronizing the black market or Bureau De’ Change, BDC.
Given that UBA, is a pace setter in the introduction of new banking services, Financial analysts, are optimistic that it may not be too long before other top flying Banks in the country like Zenith, Guarantee Trust Bank, popular, GTB, Access/Diamond, and First Bank take a cue to open such Dom Accounts for Customers.
Financial watchers believe that if the other top MDB, Banks in the country could match the speed of the Uzoka led UBA, to change with time by introducing new services, that would be beneficial to the country’s economy it would go a long way to force down the exchange rate of the naira to the dollar, EURO and Pounds Sterling and other world major currencies
. This is because Godwin Emefiele , governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and his Management Team, would no longer be thinking of sourcing and selling foreign currencies, with attendant effects of devaluing the naira against the dollar and other global currencies as a way of raising money for the President Muhammadu Buhari led All Progressive Congress, APC, government to fund basic infrastructural projects in the country and pay Contractors.