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Review: Kuda Bank Is Redefining The Future Of Banking in Nigeria

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Kuda Bank, Nigeria

The world is now leaning towards a full-fledged digital future, more than ever before. With the massive population of Nigeria’s internet-savvy youth, digital transformation is rapidly seizing a golden spot in the Nigerian financial sector. Nigerian CBN-licensed digital bank, Kuda Bank, is leveraging on technology to provide millions of Nigerians with access to full banking services with just a smartphone-based software application. In a nutshell, the bank is situated in your mobile phone. 

The bank is believed to be the bank of the future. Considering that its average user is between the age of 18 and 25 years old, it truly is on the course of sealing a golden spot in the future of Nigerian banking.  Kuda Bank seems to understand the importance of convenience to its customers, especially the youths who despise stress, and are also the bank’s predominant customers.

Signing Up

Registration with Kuda Bank is an extremely stress-free experience and can be done within 5 minutes. All that needs to be done is to sign up on the mobile app and fill in basic details like name, address, email, a picture, Bank Verification Number (BVN), if the BN is available, phone number, etc, to get a basic account with a maximum balance limit of ₦300,000 and a single deposit limit of ₦50,000. The account can be upgraded to an unlimited account, upon the provision of a government-issued ID.

With convenience at its core, Kuda understands the stress, cost and time associated with getting a debit card in Nigeria. As a result, the bank’s users can easily apply for a debit card, track its progress from the time of application, and still have it delivered at their doorstep, without paying any fee. It is absolutely free of charge. The card also has no maintenance fee, therefore, users do not have to worry about the annoying card-maintenance-deduction custom of traditional banks. The obtained ATM card can be used to withdraw cash, free of charge, at over 3000 Access and Diamond Bank ATMs in Nigeria. 

Since it is a digital-only bank, how can I deposit money into my Kuda bank account? 

The bank has sealed partnerships with other traditional banks to increase the ease of access to financial services for its customers. Currently, the bank is in partnership with GTBank and Zenith Bank to enable its users fund their Kuda Bank account via over-the-counter deposits. This transaction attracts no fee.

Most people prefer to send money via bank transfers and this attracts an additional cost of as much as ₦50 for transfers involving over ₦50,000 and a minimum of ₦10 for transfers below ₦5,000 with traditional banks. Kuda Bank allows customers to make up to 25 charge-free bank transfers in a month, after which they are charged ₦10 per transfer. Through Kuda’s free transfers, this initiative would save users ₦1,312.5 monthly and ₦15,250 in a year if they made the same 25 bank transfers every month via traditional banks.

The maximum amount that can be transferred at once in a day is ₦250,000 for a basic account, and ₦1,000,000 for an upgraded account. The bank application has a mechanism of understanding the behaviour of users. If a customer usually makes a transfer of ₦80,000, and, suddenly, a transfer a ₦750,000 is made, this transaction will be automatically flagged and prohibited as a security control measure to combat frauds or a potential mistake in entering the transaction amount.

Kuda bank full stack approach and savings feature

According to a medium post by Kuda Bank, “We have built our core systems from the ground up, based on 21st century technology, rather than simply building over existing legacy software. This “full stack” approach means we can process enormous amounts of data in real time and send you actionable information and analytics that help you stay on top of finances. All whilst staying secure and reliable.”

This kind of full stack design approach enables speedy processing of transactions. The bank has also created an easier means for complaint resolution by providing a 30-digit ID for each transaction. This way, issues with transactions can be easily resolved without stress. 

The bank also has a savings feature on its mobile application. There are multiple facets of the savings feature. There’s the Spend+Save feature. This allows users to automatically save money as they spend. For every debit transaction, a particular portion of the money in their account is automatically saved and locked away from them.

This makes it easier for users to cultivate the habit of constantly saving money and not spending their entire savings on expenses. Additionally, there is a Flexible and Fixed savings plan. The Fixed plan allows users to lock down a specific amount of money and get up to 15% annual interest on it. The Flexible plan slightly differs from the Fixed plan. This plan allows customers to save money automatically at a specified interval (daily, weekly or monthly) and get up to 10% annual interest. 

Kuda Bank is not relenting on churning out innovative developments to the services they offer. Virtually all of their banking services can be accessed with ease. A minor problem with Kuda Bank, however, is the dependence on traditional banks for users to get a Bank Verification Number (BVN). The bank is exploring innovative means of assigning BVN to its customers without them having to open an account with a traditional bank to get this. Hopefully, the bank will subsequently offer a feature that solves this issue. With each innovative stride, Kuda bank is gradually making access to banking services more convenient for each of its customers.

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Kehinde is a driven human who is passionate about leveraging technology to transform the future of humanity and the way we all live. His interest lies in constantly getting valuable information and being part of a mission that seeks to create a transformative radical shift.

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Jack Dorsey‘s Square to develop open source Bitcoin mining

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Jack Dorsey Bitcoin

On Friday, October 15, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that American fintech company, Square, would be looking to get into Bitcoin mining. Jack Dorsey who is also Square’s CEO announced this on Twitter which subsequently sent waves through the bitcoin market, surging its price to almost a record high, rising over $62,000 over the weekend. According to the Twitter boss, Square is looking to building an open source Bitcoin mining system that would be available to individuals and businesses.

Sharing his thoughts further on the initiative, he stated that “Mining needs to be more distributed” and that “the more decentralized [mining] is, the more resilient the Bitcoin network becomes. He also mentioned the apparent inaccessibility of mining stating that “Bitcoin mining should be as easy as plugging a rig into a power source.

Dorsey also believes that bitcoin mining “needs to be more efficient and that “clean and efficient energy use” would be undoubtedly beneficial to the digital currency in the long run.

Dorsey ended the thread by saying that a “technical investigation would be undertaken by a Square team led by Jesse Dorogusker, Square’s hardware lead. If successful, this initiative would be another of Square’s bitcoin focused projects which includes a Bitcoin hardware wallet.

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Financial Leaders from G7 Release Guidelines for Central Bank Digital Currency

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Source: World Atlas

At a meeting that was held in Washington, yesterday, October 13, G7 leaders discussed central bank digital currency and endorsed 13 public policy principles with regards to their implementation. The financial leaders from G7 agreed that CBDCs would complement cash and should not be detrimental to the monetary system. The G7 leaders have been discussing CBDCs this week concluding that they should do no harm and meet rigorous standards.

It should be noted that G7 includes finance leaders in advanced economic nations comprising of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.S and the U.K. the G7 leaders make it mandatory that any newly launched CBDC should not harm the central bank’s ability to perform its duty of maintaining financial stability. In a joint statement by the G7 finance ministers and central bankers, they said that, 

“Strong international coordination and cooperation on these issues help to ensure that public and private sector innovation will deliver domestic and cross-border benefits while being safe for users and the wider financial system.” 

The joint statement further states that CBDCs are complements to cash and could serve as a liquid or safe settlement assets with an added advantage of anchoring existing payment systems. CBDCs issuance should be entrenched in a long-standing public commitment to transparency, rule of law, and sound economic governance. The statement added at CBDCs must be so efficient that they are fully interoperable on a cross-border basis. 

The G7 leaders agreed that they had a duty to minimize the incidence of ‘harmful spillovers to the international monetary and financial system” 

The G7 statement reiterated a similar statement earlier made by G20 that no global stablecoin project should begin operation until such a token has addressed legal, regulatory and oversight requirements. 

Countries like China and Nigeria are ahead of the pack with regards to the adoption of digital Yuan and Naira respectively. China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency may be a step forward for the country’s plan to promote its digital Yuan. Nigeria, on the other hand, postponed the launch of its eNaira in deference to the 61st anniversary of Nigerian independence on Oct 1. 

However, countries like the US and the UK are dragging their foot with regards to the introduction of CBDCs to their financial system. There are insinuations that America is in danger of being left behind technologically and financially if it doesn’t get serious with the implementation of CBDC in its financial system.

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Learning Guides

Understanding Speculation and Crypto Volatility

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Everyone who dabbles in the crypto industry learns almost immediately that the market is very volatile and oftentimes things can change very quickly. That volatility is the fundamental reason why some investors make absolutely stunning gains in so short a time and others lose a lot of money as well. Trading in crypto is one of the riskiest ventures any person can undertake and as they say, it’s not for the faint of heart. The risks can be mitigated of course and sometimes depends specifically on the coin or crypto asset being traded on, barring general market trends.

Nevertheless, to get to the bottom of the volatility concept, one must understand speculation in the market. To start off, the concept of speculation isn’t limited to cryptocurrencies, on the contrary, speculation has existed for as long as economics and trading has. But it is worth saying that speculation is often a feature of novel sectors, assets, commodities and the like. So, even though cryptocurrencies have been around for more than a decade, they’re still in their infancy as far as markets go. One could say that the market is still trying to find its feet.

One of the fundamental reasons why cryptocurrencies are so volatile is that they are fundamentally backed by nothing of value outside the attention that they get. Unlike many fiat currencies which are either pegged to another currency’s value or whose value is unilaterally determined by a central authority, cryptocurrencies only derive value as a function of how many people are willing to use is to transact, i.e. trust in the asset because other people trust it. As a rule of thumb, the larger the number of people who accept the asset, the more valuable it becomes.

This is one of the hallmarks of speculative trading. In the crypto world or in any market that’s novel and untested, many people are in it to win it which means their strategies in trade has the objective of making as much profits as possible in the short term. Therefore, the market enters a subtly dangerous cycle of rapidly changing prices of assets. Basically, investors typically buy assets when prices are low and wait. As more investors are attracted to the commodity for its low prices, it sets off a cascade where more people buy in, causing the price to steadily rise. 

However, all good things must come to an end and it almost always gets to a breaking point whereupon the price gets high enough for investors to begin to sell. This reverses the earlier cascade and as more and more investors pull out, the prices can fall dramatically causing even more to sell off in fear of losing whatever investments they have left. The prices having fallen resets the game and primes investors to begin buying again.

Volatility has been one of the talking points of many critics of cryptocurrencies often comparing it to a Ponzi scheme. And in certain cases, persons of interest with large pulls and audiences can substantially affect the rate at which prices rise and fall. Other factors include government regulations. Volatility at its core reflects the often chaotic nature of trade and market interactions and human hopes and fears.

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