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European digital banking platform forges alliance to tap into Africa’s mobile growth

By , ITWeb
Africa , 15 Jun 2021

Digital banking platform provider, Layer is to partner 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 South African and European customers.

Layer is described as a digital transformation platform designed to enable large financial institutions to rapidly revolutionise their customer and back-office digital experiences.

In a statement released to the media, the new partnership will see the company add an estimated 18 million users to its platform across 25 countries in Africa and Europe.

“Through its collaboration with Layer, UBA 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 in 18 countries and in four languages,” the partners explain.

Layer one of only a few 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 utilised across the banking sector.

Layer says the smartphone revolution is gathering pace in Sub-Saharan Africa. In South Africa, an estimated 20 to 22 million people own a smartphone and while this represents only around one-third of the population, sales are accelerating, and ownership is expected to grow by a further five million by 2023.

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 revolutionise the way it does business in South Africa 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 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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