Wema Bank: Expanding Digitally, Rewarding Loyalty

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CEM ANALYSIS | The Nigerian Banking terrain has entered into an era where only those that are digitally innovative will continue to make the desired impact and growth. The evolving demography is spritely uttering traditional processes for banking institutions forcing a paradign shift across levels of governance and operations

Wema
Ademola Adebise, – MD of Wema Bank

One of the Nigerian Banks that quickly exited the old-fashionism within the industry is Wema Bank Plc. The management of the Bank under the leadership of Ademola Adebise, has been seen innovatively adopting strategies that are precursors to banking survival and strength. These are among others, platform for seamless banking and financial transactions – customer’s satisfaction, reward for loyalty – customers retention and managerial efficiency which has built customers’ confidence and trust

The Bank launched the first fully digital bank in Nigeria, ALAT By Wema, in May 2017. In a bid to redefine experiential banking in Nigeria, the branchless, paperless bank reduced the stress of having to walk into a branch to open an account with a seamless sign up process using a mobile phone, PC or tablet.

Within its first year of deployment, ALAT by Wema acquired more than 250,000 customers responsible for well over NGN 1.6bn ($4.48m) in general deposits. In 2018, the bank closed in the NGN 1bn ($2.78m) mark in terms of deposits into savings accounts.

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Adekunle Alarapon, Head of Retail segment of Alat

In May, Wema Bank rolled out an ambitious project of acquiring 1 million accounts in 1 day to celebrate the 5th year of the Alat digital platform. This project in its self is historical and truly audacious from all perspective.

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In a chat with Continental Economy Magazine, Head of Retail segment of Alat, Adekunle Alarapon, said against all challenges, the project yielded over 500,000 accounts opened in one day. The success did not come as surprise as aura preceding the day was such that could surmount any obstacle as every staff of the Bank was in top spirit to make history.

Alarapon said; “Every staff was mobilized and working with over 200 agents, we were in turn able to engage over 3,500 sub agents. We all worked together as a team to achieve the historical result we had. Of course the Brand Ambassador, Davido did Justice to the project with his massive influence on his followers.

“We are proud to say that we are the first in Africa to achieve such result in one day.”

That has translated into boosting the rate of download of the Alat App with over 1.6 million downloads, a quantum leap from the barely a million downloads before the exercise.

“As matter of fact, Alat was the leading financial app on IOS during that period. It was one of the trending activities on Twitter”; Alarapon said

Wema Bank digital platform has become a major strength of the Bank upon which its future is built. As at today, the Bank powers most of the Fintech in the economy providing more than 95% of the digital banking services. Alat, the digital banking accommodate everyone as long you move funds from wallet to wallet.

If you want to have an account with Wema Bank? Simply download Alat by Wema, simply follow the promptings and open account by yourself and run your account seamlessly.

As a strategy to solidify and keep their customers relationship warm, the bank has embarked on one of the longest promos in the Nigerian banking industry with streamlined entry requirement. This is deliberate to get more people across economic strata involved.

Last year Wema Bank decided to reward its loyal customers that have been with them over the years. They continue to be loyal to the bank and bringing in their children and so on. The Bank found it valuable to reward their loyalty and also to give back to the society as well.

The reward package titled “5 for 5 promo” started in July 2021 and terminated in March 2022 after dishing out N1m for a star winner, N100,000 for 20 customers and 10,000 for 60 customers per month for 9months. To qualify, customers needed simply to have minimum of 5 thousand naira in the account, transact through the Bank’s digital platform 5 times in a month.

Now to commemorate the Bank’s 77th year anniversary, management of Wema Bank decided to extend the promo and then increase the number of beneficiaries from 71 to 77. Now instead of 1 millionaire per draw, it is 2 millionaires. Instead of 10,000 to 60 customers, it is now 65 customers. The 20 customers still get 100,000. In total the Bank is rewarding 77 customers with 4,160,000 every month for 7 months.

Entry requirements still remain minimum of 5 thousand naira in the account and transaction through the Bank’s digital platform 5 times in a month. Such trsacntion could be on the Alat app, ussd, debit card or web online

Alarapon said “The promo started in July with first draw that took place at Abulegba. The second draw took place in Abuja in August. Those that qualified in June were rewarded in July while those that qualified in July were rewarded in August. To make it a national event, we are conducting draw round in the 6 geopolitical zones.

“Our next draw will be in Asaba, so Asaba people should watch out.

“Already for the second round of promo, we have rewarded 154 customers. One interesting thing about the promo is that, for every 2 millionaires that emerge, 1 must be from the location while the other one can come from anywhere in the country. So in few weeks from now, a millionaire will emerge in Asaba courtesy of Wema Bank 5 for 5 promo.

We are rewarding customers for their loyalty. Just maintain a minimum of 5,000 in your account for a month and transact through our digital platform and you will be qualified for the draw. You could win the 1m, if you do not win the N1m, you can get N100,000. If you do not get the N100,000 , you can get the N10,000. If you did not get it this month, keep up with your transactions month-on-month, you can get the next month.”

Our innovations stem from the vision of our management headed by the CEO, someone that has a commitment to quality. Over the years, he has been part of the digital transformation of the Bank. So everyone in the Bank is following the leadership of the Executive Management that provides direction. He gives us the bigger picture and we simply fit ourselves into it. We believe in the principle that says, if you can think about it, then you can do it.

Mr Adekunle Alarapon speaking about global risk in digital banking assure customers of adequate protection of their data while enumerating those measures put in place to safeguard information by the Bank.

He highlighted the 3 focal points notable for safe operation in digital space that everyone need to know. These are access to information, Storage and Easy Recall of data and Cyber security.

For access to information, Alarapon said “This is where the digital protection comes in. As a Bank, we take that very seriously. This is because though we are local, we are already playing global. We have ensured that all our digital products are in line with globally approved data protection policies and guidelines. Therefore, be rest assured that all our customers’ data with us are safe.

“Storage and Easy Recall of data: this where cloud computing stem from. As a Bank, all our infrastructure are being linked to the cloud in partnership with all the relevant institutions and organizations; Microsoft and the rest of them.

“Cyber security; this is very key as well. The Bank conduct training in every quarter for all our staff on awareness about cyber security. So when you see spam, you know what to do. When you see a trojan file, you know what to do. These are ways access can be gained into an environment without knowing it.

With these three in place, we believe that the digital requirements of the Bank is already meant. We are already keeping the data correctly, we are storing and retrieving properly and we are providing up to date knowledge for our personnel.”

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