Kudabank Review: A digital only bank in Nigeria.

Kudabank Review: A digital only bank in Nigeria.

KL RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

So I decided to try KudaBank. Interestingly not because of the bank Charges Hype, just because I love tech. So asides from regular banks I have an Alat Account, PiggyVest, Cowrywise, Quickteller, TopupAfrica, Dot. etc

Yes, that’s too much but mind your business.

What is Kudabank?

It’s a Completely Online Bank, No paper, your account can be open in minutes. 
Its meant to be a digital-only bank that runs predominantly on smartphones. 
(Opinion: This potentially limits possible customer base to only people with Smartphones)

They used to be KudiMoney (LOL, Kudi is the John Smith of Fintech names)but old things are passed away.

Kuda offers checking accounts with no monthly fees, a free debit card, with plans underway to offer consumer savings and P2P payments options on its platform

Kuda Claim:

  • No ATM Maintenance fees
  • No Cash withdrawal fees
  • No transfer fees to Other banks * (*Kuda Customers get two free transfer to other banks every month. After that any transfer to other banks cost N10.)
  • Free Deposits (**Kuda account holders can deposit money in over 10,000 branches across Nigeria for free.)

Wait first: Is this even possible? Yes, it is.
TLDR Version
Regular banks normally charge you for things like transferring money from your account to another account with another bank. Kuda says it won’t charge you as much, or at all. Monies kept with banks (deposits) don’t exactly sit there, but they are matched to be given out as loans to those who need them now and would pay later with interest. Alternatively, they are invested in/with businesses that provide yields from which the actual owner of the deposit gets paid a portion as interest, or gets paid nothing out of it, depending on the class of account, whether current or savings.
Kuda will technically invest the ‘retained balances’ of monies kept with them, and the yields of the investments are used to subsidize such fees like transfer charges, etc.
Everybody is happy.
Then you wonder how it’s profitable for them, but the truth is, they’re doing practically what the regular banks are doing, but with less overhead costs, because they don’t build branches that need maintenance and which they staff with employees of different pay grades, they don’t use fleets of pool cars to move their account officers around, etc. They invest ‘more’ in technology.

Does it work? Yes, it does. But.
As lovely as the idea of a digital Nigerian bank sounds, it’s still a Nigerian bank. It’s a fantastic premise, ceteris paribus. But you know that in Nigeria everything never “Paribus’es”.

All the things that potentially stress you out with other banks Online transfers are potentially here as well eg when NIBSS is down it is down for all banks.
If a Mobile Networks payment processing gateway is down then you cant buy Airtime when you want.

Essentially, the bank works but the ecosystem still has significant kinks to work out.

How about the App? The app is surprisingly good. Intuitive design with a lot of attention to detail. But.

It’s still in Beta, shows some quirky behavior with IOS 13 (works perfectly for me but I have heard complaints). Works fine on most Android phones. Works on EDGE as well for low bandwidth areas.

Are they even Registered? yes, by CBN with a Microfinance Banking License

How do I get started? Click here, Shameless Referral Plug.

Download the App.

What do you need to open an Account? Don’t rush me, there are 3 tiers based on how much info you provide:

  1. Lite– All you need is a Name and Phone Number
  2. Basic– Name, Phone Number and BVN
  3. Premium– Name, Phone number, BVN, Valid ID

Any limits on the Premium Accounts? Yes. 250k on a Single Transfer, 1 million Max in a day, 500k on POS, 30k single withdrawal on ATM. Limits don’t matter because: NO CHARGES!!

Other Issues:

  • I called Customer Care on Saturday a number of times, it rang out with no response, ( Insert Shocked emoji) I got a call back in 5 Minutes though. Help was Very Knowledgeable, helpful and pleasant. Emails seem to be dealt with faster
  • No information about ATM card in App, is it shipped? Stolen? where is it?

Should you open an Account? Absolutely! It’s not perfect but its really good.

Open a Kuda bank account here>>

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