No, it’s not Thursday yet and we’re not doing a throwback of Korede Bello‘s monster hit, Godwin. Wema bank has recently launched the first “app only” bank, Alat. The app is designed to match lifestyle and help you save more. It takes just 5 mins to sign up, open an account on your mobile phone and credit it. Now that’s basically what the app is about but there’s more detail if you are interested.

Unlike conventional banking which requires you to walk in to a bank for some kind of customer support like requesting for debit card and activating it, request your account statement and submission of documents, all you need is your BVN and phone number. It works with ALL Nigerian bank cards and there are no hidden charges on it.
Some other revolutionary pretty impressive functions on Alat;

Save Easily – Saving on the Alat app will earn you 10% annual interest which is three times the standard bank rate.

Schedule Transfers: You can schedule your transfer and reoccurring bill payment. It keeps you from forgetting about paying the necessary bills on time. I would like to think this idea was gotten from Paywithcapture.

Free Card Delivery – In case you want a different card, you can choose one of three bank card designs which would be delivered in 72 hours- anywhere in Nigeria- at no cost! *Yo, I’m impressed!* This is compared to the 5-7 working days stipulated time in conventional banking with a charge of N1100. Only, you would still need to visit the branch to pick the card.

Control your cards – You can activate your debit card, lock and unlock it and even choose where it works- all from your phone.

You Can DIY (Do it yourself) – Change your PIN, update your personal information and upload documents with your phone’s camera. No help needed. Normally, its either you visit a branch or go to the nearest ATM point for this.

While we have had a lot of these kind of innovations in recent times add to that, impressive models and early stage usage, e.g Paywithcapture, Chatpay, PayAttitude all powered by different banks, I still have my concerns and doubts. For those that are very familiar with any of the other platforms, we all know that the delivery of onetime password is always a struggle. Unfortunately, OTPs are keys to carrying out successful transaction on these platforms but they just do not drop and time out fast. Although we cannot completely absolve the network providers of this challenge, my sincere hope is that Alat will correct some of these things and not give us more headache in the name of digital banking. Suffice to say, Wema bank has scored with this one; the name and the vibrant purple color of the app, striking a chord when anyone sees it.

*cue Korede Bello, I don get Alat, God win! Aha*