UBA, fintech firm Layer partner to boost financial services in Africa
Layer, a digital banking platform provider, has announced its partnership with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) to drive digital transformation and provide greater access to a broad range of financial services to its Kenyan customers.
This new partnership will see the company add 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, a digital transformation platform helps large financial institutions to rapidly upgrade their customer and back-office digital experiences.
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 (APIs). UBA has implemented all of the capabilities available on the Layer platform to provide end-to-end digitalization of their banking services, delivered through a new mobile app and website across 18 markets in 4 different languages.
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.”
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 Kenya have access to smartphones at present, sales are accelerating with Africa expected to account for 7.1% of the total smartphone marketplace by 2023. This has led to a broader acceptance of digital payments in the country over the last five years, with Kenya’s National Treasury and Planning agency finalizing a digital policy to ensure that financial services are digitally connected, according to the draft of the Kenya National Payments System 2021-2025 report.
This data also indicates mobile payments surged 87% between February and October, with 2.8 million new mobile users. Coupled with findings by McKinsey that 46% of bank customers expect to use digital or mobile services more in the post-pandemic world, Layer is assisting UBA to position itself to revolutionize the way it does business across Kenya and the African continent by becoming the go-to bank that ensures a seamless experience for staff and customers.
Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, Managing Director of the UBA Group said: “We conducted a very thorough digital banking vendor/platform evaluation process across the global market considering the advancement in technology, the richness of features, ownership cost-effectiveness, and smooth implementation approach.”
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