As the world gradually inclines toward going totally digital in all spheres, the banking and finance sectors are not left behind. Digital banks are gradually becoming mainstream. Today, people can perform financial transactions from their bedrooms or couches. This saves you the stress and time spent in banking halls. Of course, the part I detest the most – queues.
In Nigeria, Rubies bank is taking over digital banking as we know it. Rubies bank can be likened to what I like to call the ‘future of banking’. It is a banking platform in Nigeria whose operation is fully digital. Rubies bank like every other fintech startup has a target audience. This digital bank focuses majorly on millennials, young professionals, fin-tech companies, SMEs, and quasi-financial institutions.
What Rubies bank offers
So we decided to take an in-depth look into the plans of this digital bank. It is quite an innovative idea aimed at bringing the banking experience closer to people. The founders arguably spent much time on the drawing board to provide banking services that won’t require a physical branch and that will be absolutely free of charges.
The financial sector in Nigeria is now very competitive. Venture capitalists are aggressively financing disruptive fintech startups. But, Rubies Bank has something different. The bank has its marketing, banking technology, and engagements totally powered by cloud technology, artificial intelligence, and analytics.
This digital bank boasts of its ability to disrupt the regular banking experience with its top-notch services and technology. Below are the exclusive features this digital bank offers Nigerians;
1. A Personalized Account Number: With Rubies bank, you, as a customer, have the privilege of personalizing your account number. This is so you can easily recall or remember the digits. Just imagine your telephone number as your account number. Dope right?
2. Free Customizable Debit Cards: As a Rubies bank customer you get a Nigerian debit card at no cost whatsoever. This debit card comes customized in your own preferred name or nickname. Cool right? It is also very amazing that the card also gets delivered to your doorstep at no extra cost.
3. Proximity Transfer: You get to make funds transfers using location.
4. Cash Request: I love this feature because it saves you and/or your client the stress of requesting bank details or giving out wrong bank details. Banking with Rubies bank avails you the opportunity of “requesting cash” from another person. When such a person or client approves this request, you instantly get credited. You can also approve, decline, or blacklist a request sent to you. You can do this by simply clicking a button.
5. Earn Money: Rubies bank also aims at empowering her customers with a unique feature that enables you to run a mini bank of your own. These freelancers are termed as ‘Independent bankers’. As an independent banker, your job description is simply to onboard friends and family using your personal referral link. You get 20 percent each time your referred customer makes a transaction. So, how about adding ‘Banker’ to your titles already?
The Rubies bank application on Google Play is rated 4.8/5 by its users and has more than 50 thousand downloads and counting. So far, the application has gotten lots of love and positive reviews from its users.
Rubies Bank versus Traditional Banks
One of the major causes of concern that users of traditional banks raise is bank charges. Clients that patronize traditional banks get frequent debits in the name of card maintenance fees, stamp duty fees or SMS fees, ATM transfer or usage charges, and so on.
Traditional banks claim that these charges go into bank operation costs, technology costs, staff salaries to mention but a few. Rubies bank (void of physical branches) on the other hand offers all its services free of debit charges. This is enabled by homegrown software, artificial intelligence, and analytics. With Rubies bank, you don’t need to worry about frequent debit alerts.
Patronizing Rubies bank also helps you avoid or eradicate all the charges that come with performing interbank transactions. As compared to the charges upon inter-bank transactions on traditional platforms, Rubies bank charges only N10 on bank transfers. This payment, as claimed, is not credited to Rubies bank but the payment for switches.
Rubies bank also takes the unconventional approach to marketing and clientele generation through advocacy-based techniques. They partner with brand ambassadors while leveraging Independent banking and direct data-driven marketing techniques.
Rubies bank creates a form of social appeal thus you can easily connect with people who use the app too. You can easily access users you are in proximity to. The app comes with a sleek, neat, and appealing user interface.
Rubies bank has an initial account limit of NGN150,000 after which you can upgrade. Thereafter, the limit moves up to NGN1,000,000. The Rubies bank account doesn’t limit the amount that can be in your account per time.
The digital bank has a feature known as the “Rubies Rule Book”. Here, the user gets to set specific instructions for Rubies bank to effect at a set date and time such as making recurring payments like electricity bills, rents, or TV subscriptions. This is all done on your behalf and is automatically renewable. With this feature, you no longer need to set reminders for your bills.
Should we be concerned about Rubies?
At the moment, Rubies bank is established under a Microfinance bank known as Highstreet. Highstreet Microfinance is an existing financial institution. This is because the activities of digital banking have not been legalized by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Although it is true that innovation precedes regulation, it might take quite some time before Rubies bank gets fully regulated and registered to function as a digital bank standing on its own.
Daily, complaints are made to traditional banks concerning failed or unsuccessful bank transactions. Traditional banking halls get filled up by people who have to resolve one issue or another. These issues are most times traceable to transactions made online, an ATM dispense error, or network problems.
Contacting the customer care services online might prove abortive as most issues don’t get resolved until a customer visits the nearest bank branch. Rubies bank, on the other hand, can be accessed via its app, the web, and USSD or phone texts.
Convenience is the language of the 21st century, it is what ‘Tech’ is all about. Rubies bank might be just that solution for banking in Nigeria.