Nigerian fintechs are disrupting the country’s financial system. Thanks to them, a growing number of banking services can now be accessed without visiting the banking hall. They build the platforms that allow us pay for flights and settle electricity bills from our bank accounts. Now, they’re also enabling us to save and invest money and even insure a few things.
Kuda takes things a step further. It’s building a new kind of bank, one without brick-and-mortar centers, which lets people do everything they would with a regular financial institution, but without needing to move an inch from where they are.
It’s a proper mobile bank in the making, with a CBN license to prove its keenness.
Kuda was founded in 2016 by Babs Ogundeyi and Mustapha Omotosho. Both men worked with institutions in Nigeria’s financial system; they were aware of the shortcomings that were common with it. The big challenge they identified was loans; people were finding it hard to secure the loans they urgently needed, even when they seemed qualified to get them. Both men originally launched the startup, which they initially called Kudimoney, to tackle this problem.
At first, it ran as an online lending platform. In time, it transformed into a mobile bank, to meet the wider need for convenient delivery of banking services. It obtained a banking license from the Central Bank of Nigeria and changed its name to Kuda.
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Like any other bank, Kuda offers account opening and deposit to its customers. Individuals can sign up for what allows them to hold up to ₦300,000, and make deposits of ₦50,000 at any single time. They can upgrade to a full account without these restrictions if they register with their BVN and a government-issued ID.
Money can be transferred into Kuda accounts from holdings with other banks, either via the debit cards tied to those accounts, or by depositing physical cash with any of its partner banks (Access Bank, GT Bank, or Zenith Bank).
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The platform also issues debit cards, with which its customers can make cash withdrawals at ATMs. Transactions can be carried out with them in over 3,000 ATMs across the country, thanks to its partnership with other banks.
Kuda’s branch-free banking lets it avoid a lot of the running costs that traditional banks have to deal with. As a result, they do not levy charges on things like withdrawals and debit cards. Transfers are also free until they exceed a number fixed for each month. When the specified limit is exceeded, a charge of ₦10 applies to each additional transfer made.
Kuda’s banking services are available on its mobile app, which can be downloaded on the Google Play Store.
Featured image source: Tech Crunch
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