Early on Sunday, 28th June 2020, Nigerian bank users took to social media to complain about what they saw as unfair charges from Access Bank. This outrage gave fintech startups, PiggyVest and Kuda Bank, the opportunity to trend, see the full story here.
These charges that Access Bank applied can be traced to messages it had sent to its customers weeks before. In the message, the bank had alerted them of an error on its part. It said that it had failed to apply the NGN50 stamp duty charge on transactions of NGN10,000 between 1st February and 30th April 2020.
These charges, it disclosed, were a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive. Thus, to cover for these mistakes, it had withdrawn the charges at once from affected customers’ accounts. You can see a screenshot of one of the messages below:
The suddenness and totality of the charges came at a difficult time. Leading to Access Bank receiving negative publicity. On the other hand, fintech startups got positive publicity.
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One of the first was PiggyVest, satisfied customers of the company were calling on the dissatisfied traditional bank customers to join the platform. Another fintech startup that social media users talked about was Kuda Bank.
While Kuda Bank is not as popular as PiggyVest, it got a fair share of popularity as well. Also, unlike PiggyVest, Kuda Bank does not offer saving schemes but it has the same advantage; zero bank charges.
However, Access Bank did not keep mum over the complaints. It moved to address its customers via a Tweet. Access Bank says that it will pay the Stamp Duty for customers for the affected customers.
The bank also adds that all individuals and SMEs that got debited would receive a refund soon. In its statement, Access Bank says it is taking this decision because of the challenging economic situation caused by the pandemic.
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