CEM REPORT | Wema Bank will be 77 years on Monday 2nd of May, Alat which is the digital Platform of the Bank will be 5 years on the same day. To commemorate these double milestones, the Bank will be opening one million accounts on that single day accompanied by a lot of incentives for its old and new customers.
Head of Retail segment of Alat, Adekunle Alarapon, in the mood of the celebration, gave a brief of the journey in a chat with Continental Economy Magazine as a follow up engagement after his presentation at a symposium organized by the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN), held on Thursday at LCCI Hall, Alausa, Lagos.
Alarapon said; “Wema Bank is the only surviving Nigerian Indigenous Bank and we will be seventy seven years old by 2nd of May 2022. Five years ago we took some steps as Bank to redefine our banking landscape by showing that, yes, we might look traditional, but we are also young and digital.
“So we set up a platform, first of its kind in the whole of Sub-Sahara Africa called ‘Alat’. The platform will be 5 years hold on that day. It’s a double celebration and to mark that day, we decided to do something audacious that have never been done before by any financial institution worldwide. We decided to add 1million accounts to Alat.
“What that means is that by the end of May 2nd at 12.00am, Alat would have added 1million accounts. We are trying to let people know that Alat is resilient, strong and can accommodate everyone.”
Davido, the Brand Ambassador of Alat, with his massive reach is championing the excitement and leading the network of partnerships for that day. The network of partnerships include major shopping outlets, eateries, major hotels and POS operators nationwide who will be dishing out a lot of freebies as you open account on Alat.
Alarapon said; “Our Brand Ambassador, Davido is championing the frenzy that is already on. Everybody know that it is a brand association that he also enjoy even before he became the Brand Ambassador. He uses his Alat account to achieve his goals and surpass them.
“The about 1.2million POS agents nationwide are part of this train to support us in the creation of accounts. A good number of them are already Super Agents with our platform.
“We are equally in partnership with some hotels and eateries who will be giving out freebies. You will meet some outlets that will be offering discounts when you open an account with Alat. For instance, we have agreement with hub mart supermarket, some major hotels such as Radisson Blu, Justright is also participating; you can get as much as 10% discount on your purchases when you open account on Alat on that day.
“All our branches will open that day, Monday as all our staff have volunteered to be at work though it’s a public holiday, to provide support in the project to celebrate Alat at 5. The morale is high and everyone is looking forward to that day.”
Speaking more on Alat, Head of Retail Sales, Emmanuel Avielele said; “Alat is the first digital platform in Nigeria that is a one stop shop for your banking needs. Just download the app and set yourself up; open your account and completely onboard yourself seamlessly. On the platform, you can request personal loan, you can request a mortgage, set up utility cards, set up accounts for your kids and many more. With our Alat platform, you can meet every single of your banking needs from the comfort of your bedroom.”
Wema Bank have been able to effect a paradigm shift from the earlier traditional set-up for which it was known and have moved strongly with the digital transformation in the banking and financial industry. This generational transformation and brand renewal wouldn’t come without some internal strategic revolution and vision realignment.
“There came a time, some five years ago that the Board and Management of the Bank had to think the future and decided to build a Bank of the future. There we started a digital transformation journey that is still progressing within which we have been able to showcase some of the outcomes of the journey.
“Alat is one of the outcomes of the digital journey and we also have a very big project we run with some Fintech companies. We can boldly say that we are a major driver in the fintech space. There cannot be mention of big names within the fintech space without a strong reference to Wema Bank having maintained a remarkable influence in that regard with our Alat.
“We are still on the journey and we will get to the point when every Nigerian will want to be part of the Wema family. We have moved from the mentality of having the Bank on the chair which is called the ‘arm-chair banking’ to having the Bank on your device.
“We have been able to instill this digital mindset across cadre from the top man to the security man and the cleaner in Wema Bank”; Alarapon said.