The Increasingly Youthful Wema Bank

The Increasingly Youthful Wema Bank

You may not have noticed it, but Wema Bank is getting younger. That is amazing for a decades-old Nigerian bank. A new report confirms what many of us have already noticed.

The 2016 Ciuci Consulting Annual Banking Report- What Nigerian Retail Customers Want shows a significant climb for Wema Bank in the perception ranking of the 18 to 24 age group, where they moved from 16th place in 2015 to 7th place. Wema Bank is succeeding in capturing the hearts of the youth as the report shows a strong attraction by this age group as their ranking with them is much higher than the bank’s overall perception ranking of 14th.

So a bank that was founded in 1945 is getting younger, jumping from 16th place to 7th, in one year, in the highly competitive Nigerian banking sector, on youthful perception by the Nigerian young people. That is very amazing. The bank’s management has a plan and they are executing through these means:

  • Wema Bank ALAT mobile app: The app was well received in the market when they introduced it. They marketed and promoted it as “Nigeria’s first fully digital bank”, and they may not be far from the truth. With ALAT,  a customer can do all  his or her banking transactions without being physically present at a bank.Yet, this ranking took place before the launch of ALAT, so expect Wema to even go higher up in the 2017 ranking.
  • Products for youth: We know that our young people do not have so much owing to unemployment problems, Wema Bank is working with that construct. The Wema Bank Purple Savings Account requires only just N1,000 with the account activation done via mobile banking. Simply, they want the youth and they have a product that the youth can afford.
  • Partnerships: The bank is working with schools, secondary and tertiary schools, to deepen its presence. It is focusing on these young people and bringing them into the financial sector
  • Digital Channel: Wema Bank understands that the young people are in the digital domain. The bank has increased its digital channels to make it easier for these younger customers to do banking.


Wema Bank has a lot of work ahead of it, but it is on the right track. Technology can quickly change the perception of a bank as people evaluate how it is helping them to accomplish things in their lives. Once customers notice that a bank has that strategy, they always respond. Wema Bank is a case study in Nigeria: customers are responding as the bank delivers solutions that meet their needs, and which they can afford.

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