ALAT By Wema: Customer Data Abuse, Unethical Banking Practice Rock Wema Bank

Some customers of Wema Bank Plc (ALAT By Wema) have accused the deposit money bank of abuse of customers’ data unethical banking practice in the country by using their data to open illegal ALAT by Wema accounts without their authorisation or permission.QUICK LOAN ARENA understands that Wema bank has been opening multiple accounts for some Nigerians on its much hyped digital banking platform, ALAT by Wema, without their knowledge or permission in a bid to celebrate the platform’s 5th anniversary.

ALAT By Wema: Terrible User Experience, Stressful Onboarding — Borrowers Lament, Regret Usage Of App
ALAT By Wema the digital platform hosted by Wema Bank has Been witnessing Terrible User Experience, Stressful Onboarding — According to Customers Using The App

Wema Bank Reportedly Aiming ‘A Million Account In One Day’ – Thereby Using Customers’ Data To Illegally Populate ALAT By Wema Digital Platform

According to information reaching QUICK LOAN ARENA, while the actual number of such unauthorized bank accounts opened on behalf of unsuspecting or undiscerning Nigerians are unknown, Wema Bank was alleged to be aiming to achieve “a million accounts in one day”, thereby using Nigerian customers’ data to populate the digital platform.

They said they discovered that the bank and its agents had allegedly been opening unauthorised accounts for customers with information or data in the bank’s possession.

The financial institution, led by Ademola Adebise, is accused of allegedly opening accounts for some Nigerians on its digital banking platform, ALAT, without their knowledge or consent in a bid to celebrate its 5th anniversary.

ALAT By Wema: Customer Data Abuse, Unethical Banking Practice Rocks Wema Bank
ALAT By Wema: Customer Data Abuse, Unethical Banking Practice Rock Wema Bank

Customers Accuse Wema Bank Of Illegally Using Their Data To Open ALAT By Wema Accounts

Adebayo Tayo, a mental health advocate, took to his Twitter account to publicly accuse Wema Bank of opening an account in his name without authorisation from him.

Tayo lamented that he never knew he had a new Wema Bank account until his mother contacted him, because she received an alert that was intended for him – shocking, how come he owns an account he’s unaware of, and his mom receives the alert.

“I am concerned about how my info has been used by Wema Bank and I need detailed explanations about the account including every transaction it has performed before someone uses my details for an account to launder money or collect ransome, ” he stated.

Wema Bank, in response to the report, claimed the unauthorised accounts were opened for certain persons “to celebrate with us” despite not informing them ahead or receiving approval to create the accounts.

Wema Bank Illegal Banking Practice Similar To Wells Fargo Accused Of Opening 1.5m Accounts Ilegally

This illegal banking practice is similar to that of Wells Fargo, a United State bank, which was accused of opening 1.5 million accounts without authorisation, with over 565,000 credit cards applied for, allegedly without customers consent.

About 5,300 employees at Wells Fargo were sacked for opening the illegal accounts, and the company was fined $185 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the United States.

The unauthorised Wells Fargo accounts were only uncovered by the affected persons when the accounts started accumulating debt from bank charges on the unsuspecting individuals.

Just as the sacked Wells Fargo employees were said to have indulged in fraudulently opening sham accounts to beat target, Wema Bank vendors and marketers may have used the same strategy to achieve the lender’s anniversary target.

That of Wema Bank is expected to also place a financial burden on the unsuspecting persons through account maintenance cost, from which the lender generated about N2.10 million last year, surpassing N1.24 million of 2020.

Affected Nigerians smell insider abuse

Recently, Mental Health Advocate, Adebayo Tayo, took to his Twitter account to publicly accuse Wema Bank of opening an account in his name without authorisation from him.

Tayo lamented that he never knew he had a new Wema Bank account until his mother contacted him, because she received an alert that was intended for him – shocking, how come he owns an account he’s unaware of, and his mom receives the alert.

“I am concerned about how my info had been used by Wema Bank and I need detailed explanations about the account including every transactions it has performed before someone uses my details for an account to launder money or collect ransome, he stated.

Following a probe into Tayo’s claim, an online publication, Ripples Nigeria discovered he was not the only one whose identity was used by the financial institution, to open accounts on its digital banking platform, ALAT by Wema, without the knowledge or consent of the individuals.

Another affected Nigerian is Oyenike Ojo, whose name was used to open an ALAT by Wema account. However, when money was sent to the account, the alert details showed another name, Oluseyi Bamgboyi as account owner – which means two different names seem to have been used to open one account.

Ojo’s husband was quoted as saying that something was shady about the account, “What I said is, the current name on the account number in my screenshots is not my wife’s name. If you look at that screenshot, the account was opened with my wife’s name and a new account number.

“She also got a credit alert notification via sms with the new account number. This shows that her details were used to open that account. However I tried to do a transfer to that account this morning when I read the news only to see that the account name is Oluseyi Bamgboye and not Oyenike Ojo (which is my wife’s name). Something is definitely fishy”, he explained to Ripples Nigeria.

Ojo said his wife has an account with Wema Bank which she hasn’t used for about seven years, and the new account created in her name doesn’t seem to carry the same number with her old account.

He stressed that the unauthorised accounts opened is “definitely an inside job.”, stating , “Customer’s details are compromised and they are being used to open new accounts. Whether by marketers so as to meet targets of number of accounts opened, or for money laundering, I can’t tell.”

Ojo asked for an investigation into the illegal accounts opened by Wema Bank, saying the situation is questionable, “How Oyenike Ojo’s savings account opened without her permission has now become Oluseyi Bamgboye’s account is definitely questionable.” Ojo said, expressing his worry.

Another name used to open unauthorised account, Abimbola Fakoyejo, disclosed that he was still wondering about his unused account on ALAT by Wema, when he saw a message notifying him that an account has been opened in his name.

Wema Bank Reacts To Accusation Of Customers’ Data Abuse, Unethical Banking Practice

Wema Bank has reacted to the data abuse report, sayuing it will ensure data confidentiality of its customers.

In a statement it issued on Wednesday, Wema Bank says its attention had been drawn to recent news reports of members of the public receiving text messages with account numbers and accusing the bank of abuse of data privacy and unethical banking practice.

The bank said, “We implore members of the public that, as a financial institution, Wema Bank takes issues around data integrity and breaches seriously, and we are currently investigating the reports.

“Recently, we embarked on a massive activation campaign and wish to state that all accounts opened are valid and fit for use. We would like to reassure our customers that we keep all customer data confidential. Do note, however, that no account can be activated except by the owner of the account, when the person downloads the app and proceeds with account confirmation.

“Again, we implore everyone to keep their personal details safe as scammers are on the prowl and would use all opportunities to defraud customers. Where you think your data may have been compromised, please change all your passwords and PINs immediately,” the bank said.

“We want to assure all our customers that your financial transactions remain safe and secure with Wema Bank,” it added.

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About the Author: Femi Adeoya

Mr Femi Adeoya is a Chartered Forensic Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner. He has over 20 years professional work experience in accounting, finance and business management processes. As an Accounting Software Expert, he has implemented and supervised accounting solution set up of over 50 small and medium businesses in Nigeria. As a passionate blogger, Mr Adeoya is an ardent writer and communicationist. He is the CEO of QUICK LOAN ARENA (quickloanarena.com), the number 1 loan apps review website in Nigeria. He is very passionate about the quick and instant loan industry in Nigeria and has written over 200 reviews on different loan apps and digital banks in Nigeria, USA, Canada and UK.

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