Here’s What Nigeria’s Kudabank Is Doing Differently from Traditional Banks

Earlier this year, KudiMoney, a FinTech company rebranded to KudaBank after they obtained a microfinance banking license from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Kudabank has also gone on to raise $1.6 Million in seed investments. A round led and participated by foreign angel investors. The purpose of the funds then was to move from beta to live this fourth quarter. A feat, which they have now achieved.

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Now get this, Kudabank is a tad different from your regular Fintech company in Nigeria, which has become quite popular. While they might only operate online, Kudibank is an actual bank. Not a wallet, not a payments company, a bank.

This means, among many things, they are licensed to receive deposits and also connect directly to Nigeria’s central switch. It makes them much more advantageous as opposed to other Fintech companies out there.

Since the launch of this mobile-first, online-only bank, users have been all full of praises. Potential users have also had very high expectations. This is understandable as they offer a very different experience to the current crop of traditional banks operational in the company.

For a bit of context, before now, there have been bitter complaints from Nigerians about traditional banks and their lackluster modus operandi. Many users have had frustrating experiences and hence, detest the banks for it. For a lot of them, Kudabank is Messiah-Bank they had always hoped for.

We will be exploring, in specifics, how exactly Kudabank differs from your normal, traditional bank in Nigeria.

Mobile-first

For Kudabank, they’re mobile-first. This makes a lot of sense as Nigeria is a largely mobile dominated market. Statista reports that “in 2018, there were 49.4 million mobile phone internet users in the country. This figure is projected to grow to 76.3 million by the end of 2023.”

Being mobile-only is a great way to go, especially as quite a number of people do not enjoy the physical, brick and mortar bank experience.

Next-to-zero (Bank) charges

Now to a very important one. Traditional banking institutions have thrived on bank charges. Inter/intrabank transfer charges, SMS alert charges, card maintenance charges and more are frequent financial burdens that their users have to take up. Kuda has reduced this to the barest minimum.

Kuda does not charge a card maintenance fee, neither do they do SMS alert charges. For transfers, currently, each Kudabank user gets 25 free transfers every month.

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Kudabank has predicted this move to save its users a significant 1,312.5 naira every month and 15,250 naira every year. (The equivalent of what traditional banks would have charged them if they did that number of transfers per month).

Flexibility

Talk about efficiency, the flexibility of Kudabank’s features have has surprised its users. Not only that, but users have also been excited by the flexibility of the company’s operation.

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A significant aspect of this is that you get your Kuda card delivered to your doorstep. To be clear, no other bank does this.

Customer service

While they don’t run a 24/7 customer service –as I didn’t get a response to my in-app chats until 6 am– subsequent responses to my messages and inquiries were swift.

Users love a product with which they wouldn’t experience unnecessary issues. And if they do, they want to be able to resolve them in a jiffy. Traditional banks don’t provide these, Kudabank does.

In fact, Hubspot reports that 90% of customers rate an immediate response as “important” when they have a customer service issue. “Immediate” here is defined as 10 minutes or less.

(A screenshot is due here, but the Kudabank mobile app does not allow users to take screenshots in-app).

Additional account benefits

Asides just being a bank to you, with Kudabank you also have a savings feature. Where you can set it to save a particular amount whenever you spend money from your account.

A savings feature is great as before the advent of Fintech products solely focused on savings, the bank account also served as the savings product. But no deliberate action was done to make the “savings account” experience better for users.

In the end, Nigerians (and also Africans) will go with products that serve them better and hit them at the exact point of their needs.

Maybe Kudabank would do this, maybe not. No matter what the outcome would be, we wait to see.