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‘ALAT’ Wema technology shrinks entire banking hall in your pocket


‘ALAT’ Wema technology shrinks entire banking hall in your pocket

Once technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.

This quote by Stewart Brand says it all.

In this age of rapid advancements in technology, it is really easy to get crushed by the ever-productive generation spewing out innovations that can make even what seems recent archaic in mere weeks. The tools available in our time make innovation effortless, while developing technology that makes life much easier. And this applies to every area of life including education, communication, health, shopping, and our area of focus today banking.

In the past, customers had to wait long hours queuing at the bank to get services. But since the advent of the internet, mobile devices that are even more powerful than computers used in the old days, have paved the way for innovative ideas that make banking easy for everyone to be mainstream.

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Mobile devices used to be very expensive in the past and only accessible to the wealthy. However, in recent times, it has become very affordable and almost everyone has access to it and the internet. This has led to the rise of a generation used to living through the internet via social media apps and doing everything including banking on their mobile phones.

The internet and data have are now as important to the youth as water is to life and according to report available to Freelanews, Nigeria boasts of over 100 million active internet users as of January 2021.

This technological advancement has not only practically shrunk previously large super computers that occupied large buildings into smaller but more powerful hand-held that can fit into your pocket, it has literally also shrunk entire banks and their services into apps that can be installed in that small pocketable mobile devices; in some cases, completely eradicating the need to visit banking halls.

In Nigeria, various mobile banking apps had been in existence since the adoption of electronic banking in 2003. However, none of them were fully digital until Wema Bank launched the first fully digital banking system in Nigeria called ALAT By Wema in May 2017.

Their goal was to redefine the banking system by making it branchless and paperless; customers no longer have to leave their homes to come to the bank for any service from opening an account to making transfers or even complaints to a customer service agent.

In its first year, ALAT By Wema acquired over 250,000 customers with over NGN 1.6bn in deposits. In 2018, it closed in the NGN 1bn mark as regards deposits made into savings account. Presently with over 572,242 customers and counting with over 43,000,000 transactions worth over NGN1 trillion, the banking app is poised to take over mainstream banking sector.

In just four years, ALAT By Wema has won several awards namely: ‘Best Mobile Banking App’ and ‘Best Digital Bank for 2017’ at the World Finance Digital Banking Awards; ‘Best Digital Bank in Africa’ at 2018 Asian Banker Awards, and the ‘Best Digital Platform Nigeria 2019 Award’.

Awards are good; they are good indicators of success and being exceptional in a particular area or field.

ALAT By Wema doesn’t just take pride in awards, it banks accolades on the culture of providing efficient and cost-effective financial services to its customers, that makes the fact they earn the awards a no-brainer.

The focus on the customer is just exceptional. There are many apps as mentioned before; however, what makes ALAT By Wema stands out is the fact that it is actually a bank not just an app, it is a full-fledged bank.

It is fully digital and anyone with a mobile phone and internet connectivity can practically have a branch in their hands; they can open an account, schedule bill payments, transfer funds from local and international accounts, automate savings, make payments and even request for an ATM card or even block one when it is missing. All these can be done from the comfort of your home hassle-free. You only need to download the app, register with your BVN, a valid phone number, your signature and a selfie, within a few minutes the account becomes fully operational – meeting CBN’s documentation requirement, while removing the headaches involved.

The value of this innovative service, which has catalyzed the emergence and sporadic growth of fintech startups like Kuda Bank, came to international light, when world-famed Nigerian singer, Davido pulled-off the 48hours a-quarter-billion naira fund raising, by leveraging the lean-startup features of the ALAT app.

While on a trip in Dubai, the superstar opened a fresh ALAT account and posted on his official handle requesting one million naira donations from his friends and fans. A few hours later and a couple of donations, a whooping N250million has been garnered for a course to impact the lives of Nigerians just like that!

All was achieved without the banking hall bottlenecks that would have frustrated the power of virality that comes with the social media. It was a situation of synchronized digital power, a beautiful symphony of value addition, where a noble social media course got powered by a future-focused banking service of the digital age.

Paying bills with the app is done with speed and convenience that leaves the customers in awe. Bills can be automated and or scheduled anywhere in the world. The app also gives users access to loans, and guess what? They come with a very low interest rate, without the need for collateral and endless paper work that applies to mainstream banking sector.

The app also helps you set financial goals, plan for future bills like house rent, school fee, marriage, real estate purchases and whatever big budget cravings you have and our youthful league of correspondents at Freelanews can testify to this. The savings are automated and the interest added to your account is very competitive, surely higher than what other banks offer. They offer 8.75% and at the completion of the goal, users earn 10% interest. In the event the user cannot continue till the goal is met, the interest is calculated and paid to them based on the number of months they saved the money.

It is no news that a lot of customers are skeptical about using mobile banking apps or any form of e-banking due to evil schemes of fraudsters, who take the details of unsuspecting customers and use it to steal all their funds. ALAT By Wema provides its users with maximum security by sending the location and name of the device used to log into your account to your mail. It also gives the user the power to activate, lock and unlock their ATM cards wherever they are from their phone in the event the card is stolen or accessed without the owner’s permission.

Although many apps have come along to copy the services provided by ALAT by Wema, Wema Bank remains the first and innovator when it comes to full digital banking services in Nigeria. The heads at Wema are pacesetters and will seem continue to innovate leaving others in dust.

Wouldn’t you rather join ALAT for your Davido-themed alerts? 😊

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Ojelabi, the publisher of Freelanews, is a professionally trained mass communicator, who writes ruthlessly about pop culture, religion, politics and entertainment.

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