BY CHIMA AKWAJA, Lagos
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBM) has issued a microfinance digital banking licence to Kuda, formerly Kudimoney in preparation to the launch of its full digital no-fee bank.
The financial technology company following the receipt of the MFB licence from the apex bank, has informed its customers that it was changing its name to Kuda to strongly differentiate its brand.
Kuda’s launch is a timely one, as excess bank charges have become a constant source of worry for Nigerian bank customers. As an illustration, the top 11 Nigerian banks as at 2018 had charged customers N143 billion as account maintenance fees.
Last year, the CBN recovered over N65 billion as illegal charges wrongfully deducted from customers’ deposits and other transactions within the banking system. Kuda is challenging this too-often accepted norm and offering fuss-free, free banking to Nigerian millennials.
Co-founders, Babs Ogundeyi and Musty Omotosho, both fintech and banking industry veterans, set up digital bank, Kuda to offer frustrated consumers a more mobile, modern approach to traditional banking. Their promise to customers is simple.
Unlike traditional banks, Kuda does not rely on banking fees, doesn’t profit from members’ misfortune or mistakes, and actually helps members get ahead financially. Kuda members receive a debit card, a Spending & Savings Account, and an app that keeps them in control of their finances at all times, no matter where they are located.
“We’re excited to usher in a new era in consumer banking and serve the many Africans, who we believe are frustrated with traditional banks,” said Ogundeyi, co-founder & CEO of Kuda. “Starting with Nigeria, we’ll launch a new kind of bank with a continued focus on improving our members’ financial lives rather than trying to burden them with hidden fees and excessive charges.” he added.
The banking license means Kuda can offer current accounts as well as debit cards – something it is already doing with a small group of alpha users. The bank is now in a pre-launch phase for the next couple of months. The rollout would initially consist of a few thousand cards, supported by a waitlist in preparation for a wider launch in the third quarter of 2019.
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