The mission to get the majority of Nigerians financially included has been a long battle. With no end in sight, the country’s population has contributed significantly as it continues to exponentially explode year-on-year.
Far ahead of Ethiopia and Egypt, Nigeria has the largest population in Africa, with the United Nations projecting that the overall population of Nigeria will reach about 401.31 million by the end of the year 2050 to surpass the population of the United States which is currently over 332 million.
In 2020, Nigeria could not meet its target of 80% financial inclusion ambition, as it struggled to reach only 64% of Nigerian adults, leaving a staggering 36% of Nigerian adults (or 38 million adults) completely financially excluded.
Fintech to the rescue
While traditional banking methods—by branch or ATM—have been slow in yielding results, the last decade has, however, seen digital financial services and agent banking alternatives accelerate the world’s drive toward financial inclusion, particularly for excluded groups such as women, rural and Northern Nigerians.
Stellas Digital Bank, a recently launched virtual bank, joined the industry with its novel technology and new array of financial offerings to lead the drive towards financial inclusion in Nigeria as well as provide global standard financial services.
Fully licensed by the CBN, with deposits insured by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC; Stellas is a wholly indigenous bank incorporated to provide global standard financial services to discerning customers across 36 states of Nigeria.
Armed with an in-depth understanding of the Nigerian digital payment landscape, trends shaping it, and major obstacles, cofounders Emmanuel Ajaere and Uche Ajaere set out to change the narrative.
Having built its operations on insights derived after extensively researching the industry and intensively investing in advanced financial technology, the bank is growing its customer base through offering improved services to entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs seeking innovation and class.
For Stellas, banking services which often seem rigorous in Nigeria can be improved to offer customers ease.
“Stellas is a digital challenger bank founded on the premise that essential banking services should be smooth, flexible and ultimately lead to wealth and prosperity. We want to equip you with simple and functional banking services that work on the move; from the way you save your money to the way you send it, spend and invest with it,” the bank’s Who-Are-We statement reads.
With a Stellas account, both android and apple users can get a “front-row access to hassle-free banking” so they could spend, save, pay bills and stay updated with speed through their device and on the go.
In its commitment to further push the ambition of running a truly virtual bank, Stellas differentiated itself from the pack, customising services to solve emerging challenges while introducing new features capable of sparking a revolution within the industry.
“We believe in borderless banking and are creating customized products to meet the evolving financial needs of people in Nigeria and across Africa. We have built our banking model around efficient and agile frameworks to provide cheaper, faster and secure e-banking solutions,” the Lagos-headquartered neo bank stated.
Making anonymous transactions via Ghost Mode
Beyond customary banking services that include savings, withdrawal and mobile transfer, Stellas’ ‘Ghost Mode’ feature allows users on the App to send and receive money anonymously.
This serves people who want to keep their privacy in the course of running confidential transactions as the case with discreet charity donations.
Close to the incognito characteristics of the blockchain technology, the feature offers the world an opportunity to make a choice between a disclosed identity or otherwise.
Beyond fancy, the feature comes handy when users such as celebrities and public office holders, for instance, seek security while making payment in public spaces such as restaurants, malls, hotels, parks, cinemas, and bars.
Stellas’ Chief Technology Officer, Anselem Uba, is right positing that the new feature has the potential of protecting users from fraud:
“The Ghost Mode feature is guaranteed to revolutionize customer experience and breed a whole new community of Anonymous Angels. Beyond this, the feature ultimately protects Stellas Digital Bank customers by encrypting their transactions and isolating them from fraudsters,” Uba had posited.
Tools for business owners and more
Stellas Digital Bank also proved to be more than a bank. Aside the commonplace banking services, the bank also offers integrated business tools for entrepreneurs to enhance business management.
Through the app, users, for instance, can effectively manage expenses with the free budgeting tool provided to help users track their financial history.
From offering full banking services, integrating business tools for entrepreneurs, to introducing an innovative feature as the Ghost Mode, Stellas is setting a new pace as a pathfinder in the banking ecosystem.
We can only look forward to new trends that will be pioneered by this bank in the coming years as it continues on its mission (birthed on an ownership mentality and fuelled by innovation) to close the gap between customers’ expectations in a digital age and the traditional banking services that is currently obtainable.
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