We've created a Digital Bank...and it's 100% FULLY Digital


#1

Hi guys,

There was a conversation on Radar a while back about the possibility of an “app-only” bank operating in Nigeria. Link here.

Well, 10 months after, we at Wema Bank launched one. It’s called ALAT (Yes, it plays on the word Alert…as in Bank Alert).

At it’s core, ALAT is selling simplicity, reliability and convenience. To achieve that, we included the following features in this realease:

  1. Open a fully functional savings account using just your BVN and phone number (We’ll get to the unbanked in a few releases down the line) in exactly 5mins (we timed this!)

  2. Instantly fund your new account using any existing local or international debit/credit card you may have, in-app. No branch/ATM visits necessary

  3. Upload any required documents in-app. No branch visits necessary

  4. Select from 2 debit card designs in-app and have same delivered to you within 2 business days any where in the country (at ZERO cost for the card and for the delivery)

  5. Activate your new card and set your card PIN (or change an existing PIN) in-app. No branch or ATM visits necessary.

  6. Control what channels (ATM, POS or Web) your card gets used on and also what country your card gets used in.

  7. Schedule frequent transfers (e.g salaries or mumsi’s stipend) and bills (e.g DSTV subscription) and forget about them. ALAT’s got you.

  8. Create savings goals and earn 10% p.a. in interest on each goal, irrespective of the goal amount. Set your target, choose your saving frequency and ALAT handles the rest…and makes you some good money in the process

Lastly, we’ve got our 24/7 customer success center that can be reached anytime should you run into any challenges using the bank.

ALAT launches to the public soon but we’ve opened it up for anyone interested in experiencing true, personalized, digital banking to use, enjoy and give any feedback.

Android users can find ALAT here, iPhone users can find it here, while the web app can be found here. No support for Blackberry or Windows.


#2

This.
is.
beautiful.


#3

Already downloaded and registered. Dope!


#4

You guys should just target university students via their sugs and student affairs, and this will explode.


#5

Thanks for that suggestion


#6

If you really want to create a full fledged bank, you should integrate with Paylater so that Alat customers can also get loans :slight_smile:


#7

Hehehe. Lending is in the roadmap.


#8

Ehmm… I saw this:

  • “Take the pressure off with a simple automated savings plan and earn 10% annual interest - three times the standard bank rate.”

Is this interest rate an invitation or is it for real? How long will it continue? And is this from Wema bank?


#9

@philiprohv, this is dope, coming from the purple bank. Kudos.

You user on boarding was sweet.

You want to quickly fix this link https://tsfr.io/1ewqea as it is not working (it’s supposed to lead to playstore)


#10

Since I already have like 7 bank accounts, here are the best things I will need alat for. (My wish list).

  • Virtual card service, so I can pay for stuffs like barter.

  • An account that can possibly replace PayPal merchant account so I can receive payment from abroad (I remember we both met at the fireside chat with Stellar team last year, is this a functionality they facilitate via their network?)

Keep doing awesome stuffs. Other covenant uni grads should be happy for you :smile:


#11

The interest rate is for real and has no expiry date. Yes, ALAT is from Wema Bank.


#12

Your wishes would be made true soon :slight_smile:

The team behind this digital bank is already working very hard to make them come true.

Yes. But there’s still the issue of Anchors in the sending and receiving countries. That’s currently the only bottleneck.


#13

I was telling Tunde Ladipo, the head of their partnership for Africa of the need to redefine their market entry strategy.

They seem to be on the move too, i just hope they be can fast enough as it will benefit everybody.


#14

My two cents:

The good:

  1. 5 mins to open a fully functional account. Very impressive (but I couldn’t test it. More on this below)

The bad:

  1. 170MB app. Really? Especially one that’s meant for mass distribution.

  2. Looks like the app was developed (or at least registered) in the Philippines. Each to his own I guess.

Conclusion

Looks like a good first version but it can be made much better. The size of the app meant I had to delete stuff off my rather overloaded phone in order to install it.

Serious Question: Is Wema Bank considering opening up the underlying API to local partners that can create a better flow / UX?


#15

Nah. The app, is 100% Nigerian. That URL changes almost per site view as seen below

That app store would typically report the size of the actual app plus all other resources like screenshots etc. The app is not actually as large as reported on the store.

We can always have the conversation. We’re always looking to collaborate.


#16

Sweet. Very good to know.

I’ll sidebar you in a sec.


#17

App crashes on attempts to submit the create account form on iOS - iPhone 5s. Please check


#18

Same for me on ios


#19

Did I just hear 10% interest rate p.a. for a savings account?? :open_mouth: Someone was actually listening.

@philiprohv, some questions:

  1. Is this an “app only” bank or is there a web version where one can log in?

  2. You said one can fund the account with an international debit/credit card. Are there other fees (w/ the exception of my bank fees) associated with this?

Nice and simple website btw. Straight to the point.


#20

Really awesome, onboarding was smooth and easy.