The management of Wema Bank Plc has stated that it is assiduously working towards the realisation of one of the bank’s biggest ambitions of being the most digitally-driven financial institution, in Nigeria, by 2024.
Disclosing this at a media interaction at the bank’s headquarters in Lagos, over the weekend, its Chief Financial Officer, Mr Tunde Mabawonku, stated that the decision to launch its first fully digital bank, ALAT, in 2017, and refresh it a few months ago, to accommodate more users, was one of the various steps the bank had taken to achieve that tall ambition.
He argued that the bank, which turns 76 in the next few days, had rebuilt the first fully- digital bank in Africa, and re-skilled its personnel, to allow over 10 million customers, instead of the previous 600,000, to have easy access to its services, without any hitch.
According to him, the financial institution had, in the last few months, embarked on internal cleansing of its systems to enable it to change some erroneous perception about the brand, and position it as an old, but matured and caring uncle.
“We are on course. We are building a legacy of leadership by blazing the trail to what banking could and should be for the Nigerian stakeholder.
“ Wema was the first among the first financial institutions to introduce mobile banking in Nigeria in 2011 and took it several notches higher in 2017 with the launch of ALAT, Africa’s first fully digital bank. We are committed to that cause, that ambition of being the most digitally-driven in the next three years.
“We want to build our online platform to a state where we’ll be able to tell our customers that we’ll pay them, anytime our online system fails,” he stated.
Mabawonku also expressed his delight that the bank, which had hitherto been unable to pay dividends, would be paying such to its shareholders, for the third year running, at its Annual General Meeting, scheduled to hold soon.
Expressing the bank’s commitment to supporting the federal government’s efforts at growing the nation’s economy, Representative of the bank’s Legal Adviser, Mr Hillary Ajodo, stated that besides increasing lending to the nation’s SMEs, the bank also organises training for those SMEs, with the aim of teaching them how to do business in the nation’s very difficult business terrain.
“We know at Wema, that most SMEs die at infancy, within the first twelve months of setting it up, due to lack of basic skill on how to run such businesses. What we’ve done at the bank, therefore is to train, and sometimes, provide legal services for such businesses so as equip them with the basic skills that would enable them to grow,” he added.
The bank’s Head, Brands Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, Mrs Funmilayo Falola explained that the idea behind the bank’s new logo is to show the strong bond existing between the bank and its stakeholders.
“It is also to show that at 76, we have evolved and that though we are old, we’re actually young at heart,” she added.
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We’ll dominate digital space by 2024 ― Wema Bank