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Douala, Cameroon Union Bank of Cameroon (UBC) formally announced today that they have partnered with Ovamba Solutions, Inc. (a Founder Institute Johannesburg portfolio company) to help business customers gain access to financial support through technology. BankPartner Lite (TM) is a recent business innovation created by Ovamba to help Banks deliver financial inclusion to their business customers, especially those in the informal sector. Ovamba’s flag ship product ‘Growth-As-A-Service’(TM) which was launched in 2016 will now be a tool in UBC’s service offerings as they seek to grow their customer base with new, modern FinTech solutions.

Banks are seizing the opportunity to solve the challenge of balancing lending with managing loan defaults by turning to alternative finance and technology innovators such as Ovamba for help. Partnering with Ovamba on the BankPartner Lite (TM) technology and referral program will give UBC’s business customers an alternative funding product that will ensure that they get the support they deserve. Relationship Managers at UBC attended the first Roll-out and training session ahead of the announcement in anticipation of the upcoming launch.

How It Works

UBC will refer business customers who meet the criteria for an Ovamba Trade Funding transaction via Ovamba’s Mobile App, Ovamba Plus(TM). The app will help Bank Relationship Managers identify and prequalify customers who would be better served with a trade transaction rather than a loan. Ovamba Plus(TM) will allow RMs to prequalify customers in less than 60 seconds and transmit the applicant information to Ovamba for processing. Ovamba will buy the customers inventory, goods or raw materials from their global or domestic supplier of choice. Ovamba’s capital support to purchase these goods comes from their global investors. Ovamba’s support extends all the way through to importation, customs clearance and warehousing of the goods for the customer.

Sometimes, the customer’s challenge is not about having enough capital, said Marvin Cole, Co- Founder & Co-General Manager of Ovamba. Customers are often caught in a cash-flow crisis that has them going from bank to bank and loan to loan just to keep up. Interrupting this cycle on behalf of our Bank partners is just the beginning of supporting the customer, the Bank and the business ecosystem.

Ovamba’s partnership with UBC is a bold step towards supporting businesses with non-traditional finance methodologies. Viola Llewellyn, Co-Founder and Co-General Manager of Ovamba, explains, 

Where there are market imperfections and where there are difficulties, there is opportunity. This is one of those perfect opportunities. We are excited for the successes to come.

Doris Ateh, Head Corporate Affairs and Social Investments at Union Bank of Cameroon, adds,

Banking is all about differentiation. Getting this resolved through our dynamic, dedicated and committed relationship officers is the expected value that will translate to customer satisfaction and business sustainability.

In concurrence, Merlin Kamwa, Head of Strategy Execution at Union bank of Cameroon comments,

UBC is a bank of competence having customer excellence as a core of its strategy.

UBC and Ovamba expect to start selecting and funding BankPartner Lite(TM) customers in the next two or three weeks. Ovamba’s mobile app, Ovamba Plus(TM) is available to Bank customers immediately, and is downloadable from Google.

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About Ovamba: Ovamba is an award winning African “TradeTech” company that creates culturally attuned technologies to serve formal and informal African businesses in the trade & manufacturing sectors. Ovamba’s solutions combine innovative Shariah compliant structures with eCommerce, logistics services, and technology to drive financial inclusion and promote growth. Ovamba was founded in the USA in 2013 and has operations in Cameroon and Ivory Coast.

About UBC: UNION BANK OF CAMEROON (UBC) PLC was licensed by the monetary authority in 1999 to carry out the business of a commercial bank. Union Bank of Cameroon opened its doors to the public in January 2000. UBC's 11 branches cover five regions of the national territory, strategically covering above 80% of the Cameroon banking market with a clearing window office at the Douala ports. Our mission statement: ''To provide excellent and comprehensive services to all customers in a friendly environment using qualified and experienced personnel and appropriate technology'. 

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