If there is one sector that has greatly reaped the benefits of technology, it is the banking sector. Virtually every bank in Nigeria has evolved from just operating brick and mortar banking to a digitalised one as well. Wema is one of such banks. And thanks to its innovation, we now have ALAT, the first fully-digital bank that is making banking more seamless for everyone.
How ALAT, Nigeria’s First Fully-Digital Bank, Was Born.
Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. At least, this adage perfectly explains Wema’s adoption of digital banking at a time when the bank was foundering. Wema was in a critical state more than a decade ago, operating an archaic system of banking that only served to deplete the bank’s customer base. From negative capital to lethargic staff, and an overall shaky system, the bank was in dire need of a solution. New management came on board to fix the damage that had been done to Wema and they ended up successful in their efforts.
Once Wema had stabilised, it was time to look to a more innovative method that would help sustain the bank in the coming years. The obvious answer at that time was digital banking. The rest of the world had caught on with digital banking so it was long overdue for Nigeria banks to start adopting this form of banking. Going digital would be a win-win situation for Nigerian banks and their customer base. Wema saw the light and the management began experimenting with different methods to see how digital banking would be functional in a country like Nigeria and how customers would perceive it. After gaining insights into how things actually worked, the bank launched ALAT.
In addition to enhancing banking operations, ALAT also operates to promote a savings culture among Nigerians. Users earn 10 percent interest per annum for each amount they save on the platform.
Achievements and Accolades
In 2017, the year Wema launched ALAT, the digital service acquired more 250,000 customers, accounting for N1.6bn ($4.48m) in general deposits. It went on to close in the NGN 1bn ($2.78m) mark in terms of deposit into savings accounts, the following year. One of its notable initiatives was partnering with Socialiga, a sports entertainment company in Nigeria, to engage the youths of Lagos through a trustworthy medium.
Its awards include:
1. The ‘Best Mobile Banking App’ and ‘Best Digital Bank for 2017’ at the World Finance Digital Banking Awards
2. The 2018 award for ‘Best Digital Bank in Africa’ at the Asian Banker Awards.
3. The Business Day Digital Banking Platform of the Year and Excellence in Branchless Banking in the New Age Banking Awards
Featured Image Source: Technext NG