Everyone has had the experience of walking into a banking hall only to be shocked by the huge crowd inside. People have had to stand in queues for long hours to carry out transactions as straightforward as opening a new account or funds transfer. The good news is you no longer have to go through this stress. Leo can do all that for you.
The question then is who is Leo?
Leo is regarded as the first artificial intelligence chatbot in the Nigerian banking sector. It is the robot that can carry out key banking transactions via social media. It’s a result of the partnership between UBA, one of the leading banks in Nigeria, and Facebook messenger, in an attempt to bring banking closer to the people. It’s no longer banking at your doorstep, it’s now banking at the tip of your finger.
How Leo Works
Leo can help you do virtually everything you do in a bank.
It can open a new bank account, check an account balance, buy airtime, and carry out a transfer of funds without extra charge or the need to cram the bank transfer code. It can also help customers initiate loan applications, cheque confirmations, bill payment, account freezing and instant notifications on transactions. Another noteworthy thing about Leo is that each transaction is secured with a one time password that is generated on the phone number registered to the account.
Leo is user-friendly and the language is simple. All you need to access Leo is an active Facebook account and voila! you can chat with him anywhere, anytime through the Facebook messenger.
In one of its tweets, UBA stated that ‘the more you interact with Leo, the more he gets to know you.’
— UBA Group (@UBAGroup) January 11, 2018
This is true to the extent that what chatbots do is to scan for keywords in the input and then scan the database for matching keywords and similar word pattern. However, considering that artificial intelligence is applied when machines mimic the cognitive functions of humans, Leo cannot in the real sense of it ‘know’ the user beyond specifics like knowing the person’s account number or name.
See an example of how Leo works:
— maziibe.eth (@maziibe_) January 11, 2018
That said, if there are concerns about this move towards virtual banking, it is that people who are not social media literate may find it difficult to use. It is also worth considering that while Leo would reduce the need to go to the bank, it could also lead to an increase in unemployment as banks would have no pressing need to increase staff strength.
Regardless of all these, Leo is a welcome idea not just in the banking sector but also on social media. It has opened the door for social media banking which will see more banks buying into the idea. Now you no longer have to worry when you forget your purse at home, Leo is here to help.
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