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Digital disruptions and adoptions in financial sector workplace

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[FILES] Artificial intelligence

The evolving digital disruption is revolutionising industries across many levels, especially in the financial sector where efforts at meeting the expectations of customers and elimination of sharp practices must be met.

As businesses evolve during the unprecedented revolution in the workplace, appropriate operating models must be put in place to meet the continuous demands of clients, experts have said.

Also, the future workforce must be equipped with the necessary tools to make adoption of ever-changing world that will require digital skills, organisational adaptability and a different kind of leadership at all levels possible and seamless.

Indeed, the banking industry has faced significant disruption ranging from changes in client expectations, geopolitical landscape shiftsß and development of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

There is often anxiety linked to disruption, as it cannot always be predicted, while organisations need to be ready to take advantage of new developments now for the future.

To remain competitive, organisations will need to retool their structures and their approaches to work to make use of the new technologies with full effect. While digital disruption is the new reality in the banking ecosystem, most financial institutions are already adapting to the new changes.

For instance, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has developed an Artificial Intelligence Chatbot called ‘Leo’ on Apple business chat to help merchants drive their businesses.

The platform is where its users can communicate directly with businesses using the Messages app on iPhone and iPad.

The Group Head, Online Banking at UBA, Austine Abolusoro, said: “What we are doing today as a bank is to see how we can put numerous processes on a platform that is called Leo in order to help our customers interact with us and conduct their transactions without having to wait for any human.

“We are leading financial industry AI in Africa. Our customers have been increasingly asking for mobile services that make their lives easier, and Leo has become a growing choice for this convenience and personal solutions.

“Over a million customers are already on the Leo platform. Before now, customers can only come to the bank, but today we are on social media as well as on the iOS platform, and the launch of Leo has helped customers to get their complaints resolved without physically visiting the bank. Leo makes use of available data to resolve complaints and where more information iså needed, Leo will transfer the customer to human agents.

“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 continue to give them increased value,” Abolusoro added.

But the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive of UBA, Kennedy Uzoka, had earlier told The Guardian that the launch of Leo is one of the new ways to serve its customers easily and on time.

He assured that Leo would give convenience to people who did not find it convenient to enter banking halls, saying: “As you know, cashless transactions have taken effect in Nigeria, so Leo came at the right time.

“It would also help merchants because the uniqueness of Leo in iOS is that we are going beyond the limits as it is called Apple Business Chat, which makes it different as it would effectively serve merchants.

“There are usually two approaches, human or machine-driven. Man usually makes errors, but with artificial intelligence, the error rate is tending towards zero, so we believe that since serving customers is at the heart of our strategy, we must go in that direction which is why we have deployed AI to serve our customers.”

“We are therefore thrilled to support Apple Business Chat, which gives us a powerful and engaging connection with our customers.

“Most of our customers prefer iOS, and we always want to exceed their expectations when they experience UBA. Apple Business Chat makes communicating with us as easy as messaging a friend, so we expect it will quickly become our customers’ preferred customer service channel.”

He explained that customers could use the services of Leo through the Apple business chat to open an account, buy airtime, check account balance, make account transfers and pay bills.

“With the business chat, customers can always reach a live person and are always in control of whether they share any contact information with a business,” Uzoka said.


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