UBA, fintech firm Layer partner to boost financial services

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Digital banking platform provider, Layer on Tuesday announced it is partnering with United Bank for Africa (UBA) to fuel its digital transformation aimed at providing greater access to a wider range of financial services for its Nigerian customers. Layer is a digital transformation platform that enables large financial institutions to rapidly revolutionize their customer and back-office digital experiences.

This new partnership will see the company add an additional 18 million users across 25 different countries to its platform. Through its collaboration with Layer, the financial conglomerate will be able to provide seamless banking services in different jurisdictions from one central platform without altering core banking systems. Layer’s proprietary platform enables banks to offer their customers a blend of traditional and neobank capabilities through one single platform that sits on top of core banking systems and connects through open source technology (API’s). UBA has implemented all of the capabilities available on the Layer platform, to provide end to end digitalisation of their banking services, delivered through a new mobile app and website across 18 markets in 4 different languages.

The company is one of the only European fintech firms to work directly with an African bank in rolling out a fast-paced, collaborative platform that aims to transform how data is utilized across the banking sector. Layer hopes to accelerate financial inclusion and digital transformation processes across the world through similar partnerships. The digital banking platform currently delivers banking services to over 25 million consumers through its existing collaborations.

With the smartphone revolution gathering pace in Sub-Saharan Africa, the digital banking sector on the continent is primed to boom. While only 4 in 10 people in Nigeria have access to smartphones at present, sales are accelerating with Africa expected to account for 7.1% of the total smartphone marketplace by 2023. As a result mobile transactions in Nigeria surged by 82.6% in 2020 to stand at 1.69 billion compared to 928.86 million recorded in the previous year, according to the 2020 instant payment annual statistics, recently released by the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS). The report also revealed that 78% of total instant payments carried out in Nigeria in 2020 were done through the use of mobile devices.

However, Nigeria is only beginning it’s journey to reinvent the payment experience with figures from McKinsey showing a growing demand for digital banking services. According to the report, 46% of bank customers expect to use digital or mobile services more in the post-pandemic world. To help meet this demand Layer is assisting UBA to position itself to revolutionise the way it does business across Nigeria and the African continent by becoming the go-to bank that ensures a seamless experience for staff and customers.

Commenting on how UBA choose Layer as their digital banking platform, UBA Group MD Mr. Kennedy Uzok said: “We conducted a very thorough digital banking vendor/platform evaluation process across the global market considering the advancement in technology, richness of features, ownership cost-effectiveness and smooth implementation approach.”

Speaking about the significance of the partnership, Roy Zakka, Founder and CEO of Layer commented: “This is an exciting and ambitious partnership in spirit and scale. We are delighted to work with UBA to accelerate the arrival of digital banking services across the continent of Africa and Europe. We are helping position UBA as a digital first leader across Africa while also helping reduce their annual spend by more than 40% for mobile applications alone.”

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