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What Leo’s upgrade means for social media app users 

The United Bank for Africa (UBA) has migrated its flagship artificial intelligence Chabot, Leo from 2D to 3D format to make customer’s interaction feel more real. Leo, UBA’s chat banking solution allows customers to transact while using social media apps.

With the upgrade, banking solution will be perceived as more than a digital channel accomplishing more tasks like bills payment, funds transfers, budgeting, data purchase, account opening, among others. The uniqueness of Leo lies in the convenience it brings to customers’ transactions and sustaining the bank as a leader in digital payment. 

Innovation is what many bank customers seek and cherish in this tech-driven competitive era. 

For many financial institution, digitization and getting transactions done seamlessly remain priority. Another is providing more payment and transactional options to customers across all divides and cultures. 

United Bank for Africa (UBA) launch of Leo, its flagship chatbot was a milestone in the e-payment industry. The upgrade of the chatbot has continued over the years to give customers the best services. This include the upgrade from 2D to 3D to bering more reality to customer interaction. 

As the innovation persists, Leo’s world, is now known as Leoverse. 

This 3D Avatar also positions UBA to take advantage of current like Metaverse and future innovations.

UBA has added a surprise upgrade to Leo as he launches on Instagram and GBC. This will feature his introduction in a 3D animated format. This move highlights Leo’s trendsetting role and consistency in innovation.

Leo is UBA’s chat banking solution allowing customers to transact while using social media apps. The uniqueness of Leo lies in the convenience. Customers can initiate transactions without leaving their favoured phone applications. By bringing Leo to the comfort zone of our customers, UBA’s chat banking became a pioneer innovation and we have since enjoyed leadership status in the chat banking space.

By making use of an effective marketing strategy, UBA can continue to improve status and reach intended goal of being Africa’s premier banking institution.


Since his creation in 2018, Leo has exemplified this goal. His availability on WhatsApp, Facebook, Apple Business Chat and now launching on Instagram & Google Business Chat present opportunities to serve customers 360 degrees regardless of age and behavioural demographics (the bold text is in GMD’s instruction for this launch). 

The uniqueness of Leo lies in the convenience of using it without customers having to leave their favoured phone applications. Customers can shop for their items on Instagram and payment directly on Instagram or transfer searching for an item on Google. By bringing Leo to the comfort zone of our customers, UBA’s chat banking became a pioneer innovation, and we have since enjoyed leadership status in the chat banking space. It also shows UBA as a tech driven organisation with her customer’s interest in mind.

The innovative AI chatbot also boasts of remarkable innovative features that allows customers to make banking Services easier. These and many more will be available across all the channels Leo has presence such as bills payment, buy data, 

fund transfer, budgeting: savings plan/spend limit, linking and funding of Prepaid card and account opening.

Others include viewing mini and full account statement, statement to embassy/other banks/microfinance, balance enquiry and linking new account. 

The tool will also be used to tell the weather, and for banking services including request/stop/confirm cheque, block card, freeze account, complaint module: log and track complaints, flight booking, ATM/Branch Locator, live chat among others.

Findings showed that beyond the physical bank branches where quality customer service is provided, banks with eyes in the future are equally deploying technology to boost their services and exceed customers’ expectations.

From the deployment of Artificial intelligence to more investments in other banking technological tools, many financial institutions have one thing in mind. It is to provide digital services that address the needs of their customers.

Artificial intelligence  is a tool that United Bank for Africa (UBA) is deploying to meet the needs of its numerous customers domestically and offshore using technology.

This is because globally, the hype around artificial intelligence keeps accelerating as it simplifies conversations and banking processes.

Through Leo, UBA’s flagship artificial intelligence Chatbot, which turns four years within the week,  the Pan African bank has simplified the banking process for its millions of customers across the globe, while strengthening conversations.

So far, the LEO has proven to be the most formidable artificial intelligence Chatbot till date; serving an ever-increasing clientele who now have less transaction hassles to worry about.

For the bank, this fourth anniversary comes with an assurance of a new year filled with better and unparalleled service to its four million subscribers.

Banks sustains digital drive

Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, UBA, Kennedy Uzoka, affirmed that UBA customers indeed agree that Leo is one of the bank’s biggest investments in cutting-edge technology and has been steadily changing the face of banking in the continent.

“Four years later, and with over four million customers and counting, UBA’s Leo, has without a doubt, remained the smartest Banking Chatbot in Nigeria because of its speed and quick learning intelligence and has continued to evolve with plenty to offer its teeming customers”.

“While other financial institutions are still trying to find their feet as regards Artificial Intelligence, we can proudly say that our Leo has become a massive success as it continues to consolidate on its successes and accolades winning several awards in a short while of its existence, “he added.

Uzoka continued: “In just four years, Leo’s landmark achievements have been indeed overwhelming, covering 20 African countries as well as garnering over 10 prestigious awards globally, a feat that is exceptional by every standard, I must say we are proud of Leo’s intimidating achievements which is largely unbeatable”.

“With this in mind, we have ensured that, Leo continues to enjoy periodic and systematic upgrade with special emphasis on enhanced advancements and specialised unique features where necessary”.

According to Uzoka, “UBA’s vision has always been and will remain to be a dominating force in Africa’s digital banking space.

“Our resolve is to provide unparalleled experience across all channels. We are a technology-driven institution with vast knowledge in the business that we do and Leo, being a tested, dependable and intelligent personality, did well to replicate on WhatsApp the success it recorded on the Facebook Messenger platform where it started its journey and later on the IOS (iPhone Operating System) platform. It is a solution that is from the customer’s standpoint, easy to use by anyone regardless of demography. Leo is always ready and waiting to help with any form of banking service,” Uzoka said.

Uzoka further explained that Leo is already present in 20 African countries and in three languages and has a number of rich and robust features bound to excite existing and potential customers with services that are extremely fast and secure as all transactions and enquiries are encrypted, end-to-end.

“Leo has the ability to do a wide range of things, including funds transfer, call card top-up, checking of account balance, retrieval of bank statements, instant account openings for new customers, statement to embassy/other banks/Microfinance, purchase of airtime/ data, paying of bills (LCC, PHCN, Cable TV), effectively helping with savings and spend limit.

“The AI chatbot also boosts of remarkable innovative features that allows customers make banking Services – Request/stop/confirm Cheques, Block card, Log & track complaints, ATM/Branch Locator, Freeze accounts, and check weather among others.

“Other features include Customer Care complaint resolution, linking of new account, flight Payment, linking and Funding of Prepaid Card, Travel Notification, Wakanow services and Dubai Visa service,” he explained.

Uzoka pointed out that, customers who have engaged with Leo are more than delighted about their experience and credit it for automatically extracting account details without hassles, adding that “testimonies abound about how it is generally easier to use Leo compared to its counterparts.

“For example, Leo automatically detects account numbers via a customer’s WhatsApp mobile number and goes ahead to seamlessly help customers check their account balance as well as top-up airtime”.

LEO the Virtual Banker

With the tagline “I am LEO an artificial intelligence personality bringing banking through a simple conversation”, the virtual banker has proven to be a chat buddy who is always available 24/7 and is an repository of knowledge, especially when it comes to helping with banking services.

The Chat Bot can amongst other things open an account, make transfers, buy airtime for yourself and others, check your account balance, send bank statements to embassies, freeze accounts, help with travel notifications, stop cheques, get your mini statement and make inquiries.

Summarily, the AI Chat Bot’s goal is to make banking services less boring by making transactions simple, easy and fast just by having a conversation

Understanding Leo

Leo was birthed January 11, 2018, with a firm resolve to prioritise its customers as well as put the bank at the heart of disruptive technologies that will transform the experience of esteemed customers, UBA did the unthinkable by getting three million users hooked in less than three years of its inception.

Leo, which the bank stressed, has proven to be the most formidable artificial intelligence chat bot till date; serving an ever-increasing customer base who now have less transaction hassles to worry about, is currently available on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat.

To further extend its reach, UBA has concluded plans to commence Leo services on Instagram and Google Business, terrains none of its peers can lay claim to.

Deepening financial inclusion journey  

The UBA has also through Leo, reinforced the CBN’s financial inclusion policy and commitment to seamless banking services through technology.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele,  said new product development, financial education and consumer protection, leveraging of digital platforms, and the proliferation of agent networks are crucial bringing more people to the finial services net.

The apex bank believes that people from different segments of the society should have access to the financial institutions and be able to avail themselves of various financial programmes being offered by different policy initiatives of the government.

“The overall objective of financial inclusion is to bring the underserved segment of our population (unbanked population) into the formal financial system by providing them with access to financial services. Improved access to nance is an important factor in accelerating sustainable economic growth, reducing poverty and unemployment, and enhancing the stability of the financial sector,” the apex bank said.

Reviews from customers note that LEO is more personable, more humane, and it feels like talking to an experienced customer service/fulfillment representative. The Chatbot also allows customers to easily lodge and process complaints with adequate and timely feedback.

UBA offers services to more than 25 million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and customer touch points, in 20 African countries. With presence in the United States, the United Kingdom and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail; commercial and corporate banking; innovative cross-border payments and remittances; trade finance and ancillary banking services.

A social media report by Alder Consulting, ranked the bank among the top three in the effective use of social media in Nigeria.

With a large customer base, the bank has invested heavily in building a robust and secure e-banking platform. It is in strategic partnerships with various local and international organisations.

Also, the bank’s customers can receive transaction alerts on their twitter handles as direct messages. It is an innovative first from the pan-African bank and the only bank in Africa to offer this service.

“What we have done is take social media banking to a new level. Twitter is increasingly becoming a popular means of communication, especially among the young adults. As a highly innovative bank, we are giving the Millennials, who are increasingly banking with us an option to get transaction alerts on their preferred platform,” the bank said.

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