Wema Bank, Nigeria’s oldest indigenous banking group, made history in the Nigerian financial services industry as it powered the first ever digital bank in the country “ALAT”. The Moruf Oseni led-bank significantly changed the digital landscape through the ALAT platform. The innovative platform also came tops in the KPMG Digital Scorecard for leading retail banks in Nigeria and this was based on in-depth insights into the state of user experience on retail banks’ digital channels.
Furthermore, the bank launched the first SME Business School for capacity building and empowerment of SMEs, which has benefitted over 20,000 small businesses.
Wema Bank also became one of the founding members of the United Nations Environmental plan for financial institutions (UNEP- FI) and continues to provide digital solutions for societal impact.
ScriptMagazine will share further insight into its development, value orientation and strategy for the Nigerian market.
ALAT by Wema Bank is a fully digital platform in Africa, with 130, 000 merchants where this App can be used. Wema bank has graciously been in the banking sector for more than 72 years, and is the only surviving indigenous retail bank that is still standing till today.
The bank with its multiple experiences garnered over the years, dimmed it fit to expand its retail business, by leveraging on technology. Technology has given a level-playing ground to diverse businesses, especially the financial sector.
Wema bank under the leadership of its new MD, Moruf Oseni, believes innovation is the key to the game. To make the Wema Bank legacy outlive those working in the bank right now, the Bank has tapped into innovations that will make banking experience sweeter for its customers. This is why the bank has leveraged on technology, through innovation.
Through Wema Bank Plc. just announced the appointment of Mr. Moruf Oseni as its Managing Director/CEO, effective April 1, 2023, he has been acting in that capacity since January, 2023.
Oseni has been an in-house person, who is not new to the development policies of Wema Bank plc. He was the Deputy Managing Director of the bank.
Oseni joined Wema Bank in June 2012 as an Executive Director. He has over 25 years of experience with more than 16 years at Senior and Executive Management levels.
He was an Executive Director for six years and Deputy Managing Director for the last four years and has demonstrated capacity to lead the Bank.As DMD, Oseni was responsible for the Digital Optimisation Directorate which includes Digital, Retail, Treasury, Operations, and the Technology Divisions.Oseni was also the Executive Compliance Officer of the Bank. He supervised the launch of ALAT – Nigeria’s 1st digital Bank that has received local and global awards and multiple accolades. Before joining Wema Bank, he was the CEO of MG Ineso Limited, a principal investment and financial advisory firm.
Prior to MG Ineso, Oseni was a Vice President at Renaissance Capital, and an Associate at Salomon Brothers/Citigroup Global Markets in London.The new Wema bank MD holds an MBA from the Institut Europeen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD) in France, a Master’s in Finance (MiF) from the London Business School and a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He is also an alumnus of both the Advanced Management Programme (AMP) of the Harvard Business School and King’s College, Lagos.
Kudos to the outgone MD of the bank, Adebise Ademola, under whose leadership the bank’s footprints were expanded to other locations in Nigeria. He improved the performance of the bank and spearheaded the first Dividend payment in 13 years, since then, he has ensured consistent dividend payment over the last four years.
The bank has grown its Total Assets by 155%, from N470 billion to over N1.2 trillion. Deposits also grew by 214% from N350 billion to N1.1 trillion.Adebise initiated the partnership with Bank of Africa to support its customers across the African continent which has increased the bank’s market share and customer base.
All these led to an additional growth of two million customer accounts in Nigeria and a market share of 3 percent of industry volumes.The bank is now the leading collection bank for state and government agencies due to its effective and efficient platform. Wema Bank’s rating by agencies was upgraded to BBB investment grade.
The bank, under Moruf Oseni’s leadership, knows that if innovation is not tapped into, any FINTECH company could come the next morning and sweep away the market. This is why Wema Bank has been on its toes, with innovations.
The bank has an understanding of how businesses have evolved and the management team is positioning it to be a bank of the future.
ALAT thrives on technology, partnering with several other technology companies. This has allowed the bank to attain the full potential of what ALAT can offer customers. ALAT is beyond being a digital product, it is a digital bank; meaning customers can do ALL their banking transactions without walking into the four walls of any Wema Bank branch. From the point of on-boarding as a customer, to the point of making financial transactions, customers may have no reason to walk into a Wema Bank branch, with the help of ALAT.
The App could be downloaded on any android operating system or an iPhone. With a few steps into registration, customers can begin an enjoyable journey with ALAT by Wema. It is the beginning of a journey with a strong platform.
In terms of Risk Management and security, Wema Bank’s framework for ALAT is very strong. As a matter of fact, Wema Bank is not just a FINTECH, it is a licensed deposit money bank: meaning the infrastructure that powers ALAT rests on the same structure that powers the WEMA bank itself. ALAT is proudly built by Nigerians, unlike some FINTECH platforms, it was not bought off the shelf and tweaked to suit Wema Bank’s specification. ALAT was built by Nigerians behind the scenes, building the ALAT app. ALAT is not a different entity from the bank, so the kind of reliability customers have enjoyed for the past 72 years from Wema Bank, also serves its digital customers.
However, the Bank is not an island on its own, so it also partners with some professionals who help check the App’s security strength. These are ethical hackers who help check the logic behind ALAT and check regression and penetration checks, before pushing it out for customers. ALAT has been confirmed safe and reliable.
With ALAT, funds are safe and the same security is replicable for tech-customers. To enjoy ALAT by Wema Bank, customers need to provide his BVN, email address so as to generate an account number. Once this is done, the owner of the inactive account will supply his/her means of identification, signature, utility bill and passport photograph that must be uploaded through the App. Customers don’t need an existing account with Wema Bank to own an ALAT account.
After this, a KYC test will be done in 24 hours, which must be passed. After this, the account will be active. There are so many merchants that are on board, partnering with ALAT.
Interest rate per annum on ALAT savings is 10% which is triple of what happens in the industry.
ALAT in the next three years, might become the de-facto digital banking app in Nigeria, Africa and across the globe that everyone will be proud to have. Wema Bank is looking into making it the number one Lifestyle app, as it is partnering with all facets of the economy.
Olamide Adeniji is a member of the editorial team of TheScript Newspaper