Story by Kayode Tokede
In keeping with its vision to reinvent banking and financial services in Nigeria and Africa, Wema Bank, has partnered several fintech companies and startups within the tech-space.
The lender in a statement on Thursday, said “following the launch of its experiential banking platform ALAT, completed Hackaholics, a hackathon that attracted over 200 entries from various start-ups. The 3-day competitive event eventually had 19 shortlisted contestants focus on solving specific problems across the bank.
“ Among several front-line solutions from the participating teams, EazyChange, a solution that solves the problem of lower denominations for public transportation won top honours, receiving a $10,000 funding.
“Riding on that wave, Wema Bank has continually engaged other startups as it gradually repositions itself in the mind of the public as a disruptor and collaborator in the fintech and startups space.
According to the statement, “With Team Lendse, the bank is working on an alternative credit scoring algorithm that rides on data science and machine learning to profile lenders and make credible credit decisions more efficient. A betting solution which helps agents remit risk-free funds conveniently using mobile app and USSD is currently being developed by Cashy.
“To offer customers better and convenient services with ALAT, Wema Bank’s Innovation Unit and internal tech team are working with Team Ace, another startup to build an offline version of its app such that users will leverage on alternate technology to use the app without requiring data.
“As part of its post-Hackaholics activities, the bank will work with other five startups in a 10-week incubation and acceleration Bootcamp. The program is designed to thoroughly explore the potentials of the solutions from these startups using innovative tools to make their solution scale from a raw idea state to a robust and market-ready product/service. The program will be hosted at the bank’s innovation lab, Wema Codeville, in August 2019.
“For Wema Bank, the Bootcamp is a strategic partnership that will help stimulate and promote the in and outflow of new ideas, staying ahead of the curve and multiplying revenue streams in the long run.
“Beyond solving problems within the financial industry, the bank is partnering academic institutions by training the students on market, industry and field relevant skills that the school curriculum(s) does not cover and most importantly providing an environment to help them translate their ideas into reality.
“Backed by a vision to reinvent banking in Nigeria and Africa, Wema Bank will continually adopt mutually benefiting partnerships with fintechs that will empower young Nigerians and drive the bank’s innovation and transformation agenda.”