Wala is a digital banking platform is launching on Android to make banking free for everyone in Africa and completely change the way consumer’s access, engage with, and use financial products and services
||Tricia Martinez, Wala’s Co-founder and CEO
Wala was inspired by Tricia Martinez’s work in Kitgum, Uganda where she had launched a mobile cash transfer solution for subsistence farmers in one of the most underserved areas of the country.”We were doing some really incredible and impactful work, but I was conflicted. The women we were providing cash transfers to would receive mobile payments, go to an agent and pay a fee to cash out, and then place that money in cash boxes in their huts. They had no safe place to guard it, to grow it, or create more value from it,” she said.
According to Martinez, whether a subsistence farmer living in rural Uganda or an Uber driver in Johanessburg, South Africa the problems remain the same- financial services are extremely costly and generally inaccessible due to reasons of inefficiency and distribution. Martinez adds that it was her time in Uganda that made her realize banking was the problem, but also the answer. And from there, Wala was born!
The problem with banking for most consumers in Africa is that it costs money to deposit, to withdrawal, to hold money, to send money, to pay bills, etc. Literally any action you take has a fee associated with it. With Wala, you have ZERO FEES. We believe that in order for people to get on the path towards financial stability they need access to affordable products. The day you download the Wala app and sign up for a Wala account there will be zero fees, free p2p payments, and eventually access to low cost micro-insurance, below market rate loans and international payments, and even a way to transact directly with merchants. She said.
Wala is not a financial institution, rather work in partnership with banks and other financial services providers to offer free or below market rate products. The Wala platform sits in between banks and customers eliminating many costs thereby creating a more efficient system for everyone. At the end of the day, our number one priority is protecting our customers and ensuring they get zero-fee banking and cheaper financial products.
How does it work
Customers will download the Wala Android app, sign up for a bank account via the app, go through a banking KYC (Know Your Customer) process where we ask for proof of residence, ID cards, and a picture of you. Once you are approved for a bank account you can manage your money from the app, deposit or withdrawal at our bank partner ATMs and agents and send payments to friends and family for free!
Why should use Wala digital banking over other services
It’s simple and provides ZERO-FEE BANKING. If you use mobile payments with a telecom provider it is likely that you will incur fees to send money, receive money, hold money, withdrawal money, etc. But with Wala, we cover all fees for you and make the experience convenient so that you don’t have to deal with the additional financial stress.
If you are interested in being one of the first few hundred users for zero-fee banking in Uganda send us an email at email@example.com or register at www.getwala.com/register