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Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s most innovative banking service provider has taken a bold step to revolutionalise the banking sector with the introduction of an advanced intelligent digital experience known as Octopus.

The solution which is full-fledged digital bank, has been described by financial technology experts as a game-changing innovation that is poised to connect all your bank accounts with your Debit Card details or account holder information.

Octopus by Heritage Bank represents an omni-channel multi-platform experience squarely targeted at the customers of tomorrow; young, smart, professional, tech savvy pioneers of the new digital economy. Bank agnostic, Octopus will provide all customers of any Nigerian Bank the opportunity to access a platform that consolidates and connects all their Bank accounts delivering convenience and ease of access on an innovative platform and digital community

It is designed to deliver omni-channel user experience across multiple devices; where most of customer’s daily city activities (banking, cinemas, stock markets, social interactions, churches, universities, meetings, restaurants, utility [e.g. DSTV, PHCN], fans clubs, associations and any other communities) have been digitized and consolidated.

It serves as a single window into several players of the same industry and it is embedded in the same social media platforms where people are such as Facebook and Telegram.

Announcing the launch of Octopus, the Managing Director of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo described this initiative “as a truly intelligent adventure that does everything differently. According to him, Octopus is an intelligent digital experience that combines digital transactions and a community lifestyle that empowers customers with the power to build their world and perform digital transactions how they want.”

He further added that Octopus would be available across all major platforms, including the revolutionary Octopus Bot on the Telegram platform, Facebook as well as Octopus Apps on the Google Play store (for Android) and Apple store (for iOS), which could be used by non-Heritage Bank’s customers.

All the information customers would need to begin to enjoy the Octopus service is available on www.octopus.ng

The platform owes numerous benefits to the users, thereby enable small businesses key into electronic payment system easily, efficient collections, social integration, retention strategy, bills paymentmobile virtual top-upfunds transferbalance enquirymovie show time, news.

Other benefits involve, engage customers, send messages, aadvertiseauto reminders for due payments, sell productsvisible to millionsautomatic product recommendation, create any kind of community and engage them freely.

Some of the transaction types including both domestic and Intra-Africa, the transaction channels are mobile devices, tablets and desktops, whilst the acquiring platforms are Mobile App, mobile USSD-based App and internet banking.

BIG STORY

BREAKING: South Africa Enters Technical Recession After GDP Declines For A Second Quarter

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Reports from South Africa show that the country’s economy, the second largest in Africa, has again dropped into a technical recession.

This was after the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2018 compressed further by 0.7 percent, according to figures released on Tuesday by Stats SA.

This marks two consecutive periods of contraction the country was recording, which therefore equates to a recession.

In the first quarter of this year, South Africa’s GDP contracted by 2.6 percent.

“Real gross domestic product (measured by production) decreased by 0.7 percent in the second quarter of 2018, following a decrease of 2.6 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

“The largest negative contributors to growth in GDP in the second quarter were agriculture, transport and trade,” the Stats SA said in its report today.

This is the first recession South Africa is entering into since its new leader, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, took over from Mr Jacob Zuma, who also witnessed an economic recession while in office.

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BUSINESS

UBA’s Leo Launched On WhatsApp

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Pan-African Financial Institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) has announced the commencement of its chat bank ‘Leo’ on the WhatsApp platform.

With Leo on WhatsApp, customers who are users and lovers of the app can now perform basic banking services including checking their balances on the go, transferring funds, paying bills, among other services.

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, UBA, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, who expressed excitement about the development remarked that the bank is continuously working in line with customers’ demand to ensure that banking services are made convenient and without stress.

He said, “This only goes to show that our resolve in continuing to deploy innovative solutions that place customers first, using cutting-edge technology for their collective satisfaction and excellent banking experience is important to us. This recognition will further spur us to do more in meeting the needs of our customers with unrivalled services.”

“Our recent launch of Leo in 13 other African countries is evidence that UBA has on its agenda, the objective of digital creativity especially in service for our trusted customer base across the African continent.”

Also speaking on the new service, the Group Head of UBA’s Online Banking, Mr Austine Abolusoro, stated “United Bank for Africa is a technology-driven institution with vast knowledge in the business that we do and Leo, being a tested dependable and intelligent personality, will replicate on WhatsApp, the success it has experienced on the Facebook Messenger platform.  It is a solution that is from the customer’s standpoint, easy to use by anyone regardless of your demography.” “Leo is ready and waiting to help with any form of banking services,” continued Abolusoro.

WhatsApp has been in existence for over 9 years, reaching more than 1.5 billion people in over 180 countries. The premium private chat platform has assured that there will be no spam messages as the development is to enable businesses to serve their customers with useful and helpful information.

LEO is already present in over 14 African subsidiaries, including Nigeria, available in three languages, and has now been rolled out to customers on WhatsApp. To use this service on WhatsApp, customers must add the LEO Whatsapp number: +234 903 000 2455 to their phone contacts, then search for UBA Chat Banking on WhatsApp to start enjoying the added convenience and ease of transacting with Leo on WhatsApp.

UBA is one of Africa’s leading banks with operations in 20 African countries and in London and New York, with presence in Paris. Adjudged to be at the forefront of innovation and convenient banking, UBA is one of the first financial services institutions on the continent to deploy Finacle 10x, a new information technology platform that boosts its services and electronic banking channels. Today, UBA provides banking services to more than 15 million customers globally, through thousands of touch points and diverse channels.

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BUSINESS

UBA Appoints Four New Board Members

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The Board of Directors of the United Bank for Africa is pleased to announce the appointment of four new members to its board, subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN).

The new board members are Mrs. Erelu Angela Adebayo, Ms. Angela Aneke, Alhaji Abdulqadir Jeli Bello and Mr. Isaac Olukayode Fasola.

These appointments follow the retirement of Mrs. Rose Okwechime, Mr Adekunle Olumide, OON, Alhaji Ja’afaru Paki and Mr Yahaya Zekeri, with effect from August 30, 2018.

“I am pleased to welcome Erelu Adebayo, Angela Aneke, Abdulqadir Bello and Kayode Fasola to the Group Board,” said Tony O. Elumelu, the Group Chairman of the Bank.  “These men and women bring a wealth of experience in their fields and will be tremendous assets, as we deliver on our mission to become the leading Pan-African financial institution in all our countries of operation.”

‘I am particularly pleased that two of the newly appointed Non-Executive Directors are women, bringing the total number of women to four, a further demonstration of our commitment to ensuring equality for both men and women,’ added the Group Chairman.

Mr. Elumelu thanked the retiring directors for their contribution, hard work and commitment to UBA, “I would like to express my appreciation to our retiring Directors for their leadership and dedication to UBA and for their contribution to an already impressive 2018. I wish them the very best in their future endeavours”.

This announcement comes on the heels of the Bank’s strong H1 2018 performance with a PBT of N58.1billion. With the successful expansion of its retail operations, UBA now operates in 20 countries in Africa, following its recent acquisition of a licence in Mali and the United Kingdom. The bank also has offices in New York City and in Paris.

About the new Directors

Erelu Angela Adebayo who graduated with an M.Phil in Land Economy from Cambridge University is the former First Lady of Ekiti State in Nigeria. Mrs Adebayo previously served on the boards of several organisations, including the Dangote Foundation, DN Meyer Plc, Wemabod Estates.  Mrs Adebayo is a council member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and has worked extensively on real estate development and She is the Chairman of the Erelu Adebayo Foundation for the underprivileged.

Ms. Angela Aneke is a board advisor, banker and a strategic thinker with over 30 years’ experience in financial services, in the areas of financial control, strategy, transaction banking, corporate banking, retail banking and governance.  Ms. Aneke has held executive management and board positions in several international and regional institutions, including Ecobank Transnational Incorporated and the United Bank for Africa.

Mr. Isaac Olukayode Fasola is a consummate professional with over 30 years’ cognate experience obtained from Management and Board positions covering banking operations, risk management, credit analysis, insurance, asset management, business strategy/development, performance management and corporate governance.  Mr. Fasola previously served as an Executive Director of a commercial Bank in Nigeria. Mr. Fasola holds 2 MBAs and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Business Administration.

Mr. Abdulqadir J. Bello, a Chartered Accountant, has over 30 years’ corporate experience in the banking sector, during which period he held several senior Management positions in various Banks.  He also previously served as the Group Chief Credit Officer of UBA and thereafter as the Executive Director in charge of Risk Management for UBA Group.

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