Wema Bank’s ALAT is a paperless and branchless bank which provides services via web and mobile apps like Android and iOS [you can call it a digital bank]. ALAT was launched in May 2017 and has anchored 200k new accounts while capturing N1.1 billion in deposits as at February 2018.
Wema Bank was established in 1945. It has about 1.5 million customers in Nigeria. Under a year, ALAT has brought 200k customers. The implication is that it took the bank 72 years to acquire about 1.3 million customers [18k customers per year]. ALAT has generated 200k in ten months. You can see why businesses need to renew and refresh strategies and models.
ALAT would even get better with these new features it just launched:
Quick short-term loans: This is accessible to all ALAT customers through the apps. This means Paylater has a major competitor.
Virtual dollar card: A debit card designed for foreign online payments.
But the biggest innovation is MINTing Nigerian customers by making it possible for ALAT customers to “through their ALAT profile connect to their other Nigerian bank accounts, adding that this makes moving money around easier for people with multiple bank accounts”. Expect personal finance and money to evolve in ALAT with capabilities for budgeting, bill payment and credit scoring. In other words, in near future, ALAT could become a personal finance, budgeting and credit management ecosystem. The road leads to one destination: Platforms.
To the fintech companies, it is evident that banks can innovate and compete. If not that ALAT is part of a banking institution, it would be one of the finest fintechs in the country. Yet, being part of a bank should not diminish the brilliance of the team---