For the last four weeks, one of Nigeria’s biggest digital-only banks has been offline as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) blocked it from making transfers to customers.
If the world were a Disney animated movie, digital banks would be a unicorn (the mythical horse) riding from the heavens to rescue people from the stressful ordeal of dealing with traditional banks.
Digital banks, also called neobanks or challenger banks, come with many expectations, many of which are championed by the companies themselves. For instance, Kuda Bank has marketed itself as “the bank of the free”, promising zero transaction fees and no hassle to customers. Sparkle, a neobank founded by Uzoma Dozie, former CEO of Diamond Bank (now Access Bank), envisions itself as the “freedom and transparency your money deserves.” And after Carbon, another neobank operated by two of Dozie’s brothers got its banking licence, it threw shade at traditional banks