On Thursday, Stellas Digital Bank, a new Nigerian fintech was launched in Lagos. With the incessant increase of fintech companies in Nigeria, Stellas has immediately joined an already chaotic battle in the fintech space for millennial middle-class Nigerians looking for the next best payment platform.
The neo bank unveiled its cross platforms digital banking systems: Web, Android, and iOS apps at a launch event yesterday in Lagos. The challenger bank’s new tagline restates its promise of simplicity, style, and convenience in service delivery.
Powered by Stellas Technologies, a financial technology company, Stellas Digital Bank is fully licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and has all its accounts insured by Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).
The managing director of the company, Bukola Solomon said that the launch is the result of months of research to fill up the lacunas still endemic in the Nigerian fintech space.
“The emergence of Stellas Digital Bank is a strategic response to many months of industry and market analyses which show that Nigeria’s Fintech space, despite observed growth, still has some niches yet unserved,” he said.
Stellas is positioning itself as a unique payment solution platform by offering “a ghost mode feature,” the first of its kind in the country, which allows users to transfer money and make payments incognito.
In a press release, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the company Anselem Uba said that this new feature will be instrumental in protecting users from fraud:
“The Ghost Mode feature is guaranteed to revolutionize customer experience and breed a whole new community of Anonymous Angels,” Uba said. “Beyond this, the feature ultimately protects Stellas Digital Bank customers by encrypting their transactions and isolating them from fraudsters.”
Stellas, hitting the ground running to snag customers in the chaotic world of fintech, will immediately start providing loans to users via the app. Like many financial institutions in the country, it will send prompts to customers telling them if and when they are eligible for such loans.
The app will also have a budgeting tool that will be useful for users seeking to curb their spending, but a stark contrast to what has made fintech popular among middle-class Nigerians, which is to make transactions quicker and ultimately spend more.
“The Budgeting tool is a helpful feature released on the Stellas app, enabling users to plan and allocate funds to monthly expenditure similar to how individuals conventionally make a list of how to disburse monthly income,” Uba says in the statement.
“One of the benefits of the Budgeting tool is the ability to compare their actual spending to the budget real-time and periodically, keeping users in check on spending habits.”
Stella is also banking on low-cost transactions, a strategy that some other fintech companies have used to gain customers. It says that it will not charge more than N10 per transaction.
It said nothing about hidden charges that critics have said fintech who offer really low fees balance their account with. This move also plunges the newcomer into a battle for customers with Kuda bank, which last year was valued at $500 million and, offers zero fees for transactions and free debit cards delivered to users, and has spent millions in targeted advertising on social media.
But Stella’s managing director, Bukola Solomon is very optimistic about the launch and his plan with the bank. “We are closing the gap between the customer’s expectations in the digital age,” he said.
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