SA’s First Wholly Black-Owned Bank Launches Mobile Platform

By Susan Chanda

The workers’ bank of choice and SA’s only wholly black-owned bank, Ubank, has shaken up the financial services industry by launching their own mobile and digital payment platform in partnership with WIZZIT International. The implementation of the platform – nicknamed Vulindlela – aims to competitively position Ubank to leapfrog into adjacent markets beyond mining, to boost revenue streams.

Customer first
“The launch of this platform fulfils customers’ need for easier access to convenient banking services and forms part of a broader strategy to grow the bank and extend unique services and products to a much wider South African workforce. Our aim is to extend our reach beyond our historical mining industry-focused footprint,” says Ubank Acting Managing Executive, Wilson Mosigi.

The workers’ bank
Ubank is a niche financial service provider whose roots extend all the way back to 1975. Ubank is entrenched primarily within mining communities and, for 40 years, has serviced neglected and underserviced mine workers in the gold and platinum sectors who previously had difficulty accessing financial services.

After identifying the need for a comprehensive mobile banking service, Ubank overhauled their existing platform to replace it with a state-of-the-art service designed by WIZZIT.

Prior to launching the new mobile and digital platform, Ubank’s system only offered basic and limited services, such as balance enquiries, mini statements, internal transfers and the purchase of network data or airtime.

Ubank’s new platform offers enhanced functionalities, including mobile and internet banking, the ability to purchase additional services, e-wallet, branch and ATM locator, Forex, calculators and share trading.

Enterprise in partnership
WIZZIT worked closely with UBank to design the bespoke solution. As a pioneering player in the financial services space, Ubank needed modular banking technology and quick, seamless implementation time. WIZZIT have partnered with forward-thinking institutions in fourteen countries internationally to roll out mobile banking platforms, with a proven track record of success.

“The immediacy and flexibility of Vulindlela is a perfect fit for Ubank, as it allows us to connect all banking channels with one robust network solution and a consistent customer experience,” explains Mike Madonsela, Head of Channels at Ubank. “This omni-channel approach required an equally agile partner to build and design the platform. We found this in the WIZZIT team.”

Ubank’s new mobile and digital platform will hopefully yield fruitful returns on investment, improve customer satisfaction as well as herald diversification in the customer base of SA’s only black-owned bank.

“In our 40 years of service to workers, we see this as a quantum leap for the bank to help satisfy customers’ needs. Going mobile and digital will drive customer acquisition and retention and open the bank to new markets beyond the confines of brick and mortar branches,” concludes Mosigi.