Banking apps and internet banking services are a lifesaver; imagine having to head to a bank for every little transaction. It can get pretty frustrating right? Now imagine never having to step your foot inside your bank; this is exactly what ALAT is offering.
ALAT, which is powered by WEMA, offers customers a fully digital banking experience. So, all that is required to open and run an ALAT bank account is an internet connected device.
A quick peek around the ALAT website reveals that users can access the banking platform on the web or via a mobile app available on Android and iOS. I have always had an aversion for banking halls, so I was definitely going to check this one out.
I made my way to the Play Store to download the app, not before trying to first determine if it was truly worth my time and data. A 4.2 star rating on Play Store and few good reviews gave me the green light and I had the app up and running in no time.
Getting started with ALAT
To sign up for ALAT I had to enter my phone number, BVN, date of birth and the OTP that was sent to my registered BVN phone number. Once I had done this I was asked to confirm if some details, including my full name, gender and date of birth, belongs to me. Apparently, ALAT automatically uses the information you submitted during your BVN registration. I went on to set my password and choose a security question and just like the app claimed, I was done with my registration and I had an ALAT account in less than five minutes.
I went on to set my password and choose a security question and just like the app claimed, I was done with my registration and I had an ALAT account in less than five minutes.
Banking on ALAT
The ALAT app has an impressive user interface; it is light, beautiful and easy to use. Once I had my dashboard setup after registration, I felt comfortable using and navigating the app in no time. Logging into the app automatically directs me to the dashboard which contains a list of required actions that can be executed by simply clicking on any of them.
My account number, account balance and the state of my account are clearly displayed on the top of my dashboard once I am logged in. Other features of the app can be accessed by simply clicking the menu button on the top left corner of the dashboard.
Activating your ALAT Account
After opening my ALAT account, it remained in a restricted state until I provided some additional documents that appeared on my dashboard. In the restricted state, I only had the option of funding my account, filling out some personal details and requesting for my ATM card as other features were unavailable.
After taking pictures of my national ID card, a recent utility bill, and an in-app photograph with my phone camera and uploading on the app, a member of the ALAT team came to verify my house address a few days later and my account became active. The top section of my dashboard that contains my account details, which was previously marked “restricted” was now marked “active” and the circle just beside it turned from yellow to green.
Activating your ATM Card
I requested for my ATM card on the app and it was delivered by UPS courier to my specified address at no cost. By selecting the cards option on the main menu, I set up a PIN for my ATM card and it was ready for use at any ATM.
ALAT also gives users the option of activating their cards for use abroad, blocking cards, and choosing specific channels (web, POS or ATM) to use their cards, all from the app.
I feel reasonably secure using the ALAT app. Apart from any underlying security, an email is sent to my registered email address once I am logged in. This email also contains information about the device I logged in with, my login time and date and contacts I can reach out to if my account is accessed by someone else
Also, the app automatically logs me out after a few minutes of inactivity, and I have to re-enter my login details again.
Like other banking apps, users can transfer money to and from their ALAT account, purchase data and airtime and make other bill payments. However, ALAT app also comes with some other unique features;
- Transfers and bill payments can be scheduled beforehand
- Users can order for and control their ATM card on their phones.
- Users can set “Goals” and earn a 10% interest per annum on any amount saved.
ALAT Goals is my most interesting feature in the app. It helps users save for the things they need by taking a specified amount of money from the account automatically, depending on the specified schedule.
The ALAT app has an impressive and intuitive user interface and is considerably easy to use. It certainly serves its purpose, as I was also able to carry out financial transactions on the app without hitches. Even though there has been trailing complaints about the app, there have been significant improvements since the latest upgrade
However, ALAT doesn’t seem like a bank that can stand on its own just yet. The inability to make cash payments suggests that users must own an existing account with a physical bank before operating the ALAT account. Nevertheless, the ALAT banking app has the potential to revolutionise our banking life.
Do you want to try out the ALAT app? You can download it here
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