ingenuity and resourcefulness of each institution to remain relevant to
The development of the Nigerian economy has not been stable over the
years. Due to this, the country’s economy has gone through different
turbulence, which has affected many financial institutions in the
country. The turbulence has affected many customers, bringing shocks and
disturbances both internally and externally over the decades to teeming
customers of different banks affected by these turbulent times.
It is worthy of note that the unstable investment patterns as well as
the improper implementation of public policies and changes in future
expectations are some of the factors responsible for the fall of some of
these financial institutions, whom customers never suspected would
develop issues in their years of existence.
Also, some external factors such as population growth rates, migration,
technological savviness, and changes as well as the openness of the
country’s Nigerian economy are some of the factors responsible for the
fall of these institutions.
The efficient channeling of funds and allocation of financial resources
are roles expected to be undertaken in the financial system to
facilitate productivity growth in the real sector of the economy. There
have been overlapping roles in the Nigerian financial system and this
has resulted in inefficient intermediation and under-development of
vibrant sectors of the economy.
Thus, this gave birth to development financial institutions to render
services to the large un-catered economic agents, especially in the
rural areas by the banks. The institutions offer specialized and
micro-financial services, offer relatively cheap and accessible
financing options, provide long-term finance for infrastructure
development, industrial growth, agriculture, small and medium
enterprises (SME) development and provide financial products for certain
sections of the people.
These services are designed to meet the urgent banking needs of teeming
customers of these financial institutions and business dealings with
financial and monetary transactions such as deposits, loans,
investments, and currency exchange. Also, these financial institutions
encompass a broad range of business operations within the financial
services sector including banks, trust companies, insurance companies,
brokerage firms, and investment dealers. Virtually everyone living in a
developed economy has an ongoing or at least periodic need for the
services of financial institutions.
Wema bank has remained relevant in the provision of these services and
has constantly moved with the tides of time, despite its nomenclature of
being an old generational bank. Its teeming customers have expressed
happiness that the bank has stayed ahead of the curve through its
technology-led investments: Wema ALAT.
Wema ALAT is Nigeria’s First Fully Digital Bank which has continued to
yield results. He stated that plans were in place to continue strong
growth in customer acquisition and retention through ALAT in 2020
despite the economic headwinds.
ALAT By Wema saves time with a simple account opening process. It helps
customers put money away easily by automating their savings. It will
make sure your bills are paid on time with its scheduled payments
feature. Its high technology features allow customers to withdraw money
from their ALAT account through an ATM without using their debit cards.
Under the leadership of a competent and savvy Managing Director, Mr.
Ademola Adebise, Wema Bank has ushered in an exciting new future for the
bank and its customers, through an innovation called “Wema Alat”, an
innovative programme by the Bank which allows customers to get loans of
up to Four Million Naira, with a payback period of six to twenty-four
Launched on May 2, 2017, by Nigeria’s foremost commercial institution,
Wema Bank Plc. ALAT was designed to cater to the needs of today’s
(digital) customers who are in dire need of a bank that understands and
suits their lifestyle with respect to value for time, money, and
The bank’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Mr. Tunde Mabawonku, confirmed
that the loan programme allows customers to pay 2% interest per month.
To complete your sign up, type in your email address set a new password
(a good password is a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols),
pick a security question, and provide an answer you’ll remember easily.
That’s it! Congratulations, you can now use your ALAT account.
There is no gainsaying that the bank has recorded significant growth in
recent times. For instance, the bank posted significant growth in its
2019 performance with an increase in the bank’s interest income and
non-interest income from the previous year by 23% and 74% respectively.
“The non-interest income growth was driven by a 22.9% growth in Net Fees
and Commission due to increased volume of transactions across various
electronic channels (ATMs, POS, Mobile Banking, Electronic Banking).”
Little wonder Wema Bank’s Net Trading Income grew by “a whopping 167.45%
from the previous year due to increased income on Treasury Bills.”
Despite the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on various sectors of the
economy, the disruption has had a positive impact on WEMA Bank more than
Mr. Mabawonku once stated in an interview he granted that the bank is
poised to achieve all its plans, one of which is making Wema Alat a
stronger platform, where customers “cash-out” with so much ease.
Wema Bank has helped mitigate against the sore effects of the pandemic
on its customers by putting in place a Business Continuity Plan, such as
Wema Alat, designed to ensure that business operations are not severely
Mabawonku was quoted to have said, “The plan is focused on two pillars
namely – Business continuity and safety of customers and staff,” he
While emphasizing the strong support Wema Bank has offered to customers
by putting a moratorium on repayment of SME loans during the pandemic,
the Bank is also adjusting to the new normal by putting frameworks in
place to ensure its workforce is well equipped to function accordingly
while ensuring the safety of customers across all its physical
Olamide Adeniji is a public affairs analyst.