A lot of Nigerian bank customers have certain frustrations in common – that they have to pay for almost every service they get. For example, to operate a current account, the customer faces account maintenance charges, cashless policy charges (cash deposit/withdrawal above a certain threshold), short message service (SMS) charges, automatic teller machine (ATM) charges.
Other charges are electronic funds transfer, status enquiry services (confirmation letter, embassy letter, reference letter, letter of indebtedness/non indebtedness, bank statements and many others).
The quantum of all these charges, as well as the frustrations these customers feel about the situation, are better imagined, going by the deluge of complaints one sees on various media platforms.
The CBN once informed the country that it has refunded some customers to the tune of over N65 billion.All these also contribute to the low bank penetration in the country – put at 39.41 percent, according to World Bank research on the percentage of people (aged 14 years and above) with bank accounts.Then came Kuda, a fintech company founded in 2019, offering Nigerians a new lease on life.
From its inception, Kuda has shown that it is on a mission to make financial services more accessible, affordable, and rewarding for every African.Kuda customers enjoy free money transfers, smart budgeting and instant access to credit through digital devices.
Many consider these services better than those offered by traditional financial institutions.Kuda’s suite of apps for Android phones, iPhones, and the web, allow everyday Nigerians with internet access to operate a spending account, access instant credit, save money automatically and earn annual interest without the burden of traditional bank charges such as card maintenance fees, account maintenance fees and excessive transfer fees.
In three years of operations in Nigeria, Kuda has recorded several achievements. The money app for Africans has over 4.2 million customers who have made over 500 million transactions worth more than 50 billion.The fintech company has also won several credible awards including the Vanguard Fintech Company of the Year Award and the GAGE Innovative Bank of the Year Award, both in 2022.
These achievements did not come about from sheer luck but through a well-thought-out business plan that places customer satisfaction at the centre of Kuda’s Operations.
A case in point is the company’s bold decision to transition from a third-party core banking app to its own core banking app, Nerve, which was built in-house to meet growing needs.Launched on August 30, 2020, the custom-made core banking application became the platform for the management of account information, transfers and connections with Kuda’s banking partners.
Nerve transformed the operations of the fintech company, giving it more freedom to design more flexible internal applications for better services.Kuda recently responded to its customers’ needs by offering gift cards on the Kuda app.
These gift cards make it easy for Kuda customers to shop on the world’s most popular online stores, buy mobile apps, and pay online subscriptions for Netflix, Apple Music, and Spotify. The fintech company has also launched a pilot version of Kuda Business, an all-in-one business manager for freelancers and SMEs.In a bid to further insulate its customers from online fraud, Kuda has added multifactor authentication to its Android, iOS and web apps to better secure the accounts of its customers.
On the back of its growing success in Nigeria, Kuda is positioning itself to venture into the wider African market. Recently, the company appointed two new management officers as part of its international expansion plans.This move saw the coming on board of Pavel Khristolubov and Elena Lavezzi as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) respectively at the group level.The entire African continent can look forward to Kuda’s plans to offer global investments through its app, have access to Kuda Business, its all-in-one business manager, more credit products and make remittance easier for Africans in diaspora.
It is apparent that a focus on customers’ needs has driven Kuda’s growth and development in Nigeria, particularly leading it to deliver real impact and alleviate the pains of banking customers.
With its expansion and inclusion of other features, Kuda is evolving into a pan-African company and moving beyond banking.
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