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Kudimoney’s ‘Bank for African millennials’ ambition gets CBN approval, rebrands to Kuda

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The ambition of Kudimoney, a Nigerian financial technology firm, to become the ‘Bank for African millennials,’ has received a massive boost with the approval of a Microfinance Banking licence by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The company also announced in a statement BusinessDay received that it is changing its name to Kuda. It noted that the approval by Nigeria’s apex bank was an indication of growing customer trust in the company.

Babatunde Babs Ogundeyi, CEO of the company said the launch is timely given that excess bank charges have become a constant source of worry for Nigerian bank customers. For instance, the top eleven Nigerian banks as at 2018 had charged customers N143 billion as account maintenance fees. In 2019, the Central Bank of Nigeria said it recovered over N65 billion as illegal charges wrongfully deducted from customers’ deposits and other transactions within the banking system.

The rebranded Kuda has set its sights on cornering 100,000 current account holders within 12 months of full launch and already has a rapidly growing wait-list for its free banking services.

“Kuda is fundamentally different because the entire experience is designed around you and your phone,” said Ogundeyi a former bank auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers who founded the company alongside Musty Mustapha, an artificial intelligence expert and former innovation lead at StanbicIBTC. “Traditional banks have thousands of branches to support, which comes at a high cost. The costs are ultimately transferred to the customer. Kuda is focused on making customers’ financial life easier, rather than trying to burden them with hidden fees and excessive charges.”

Unlike traditional banks, Kuda does not charge fees, including account and card maintenance fees. Instead, its approach is to build a platform that enables its customers manage their financial life better. The mobile application comes with in-built features that make savings, budgeting and spending very effortless.

According to the statement, the full banking license means Kuda can offer current accounts as well as debit cards – something it is already doing with a small group of alpha users.

The app only bank is now in pre-launch phase for the next couple of months. A public beta, with a banking preposition for its customers will launch in the third quarter of 2019.