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Digital banking takes off amid Nigeria's pandemic

Outside a bank in Nigeria's megacity Lagos, crowds of people are waiting to get in.

Amid lockdown measures, scenes like this that could make people nervous.

[Media professional Lehla Balde, saying] "A lot of people don't feel comfortable doing that you know, there is excessive lines."

It's the reason why many, like Lehla Balde, a media professional, have turned to digital banking in the past few months.

"So people are changing the way that they want to bank. So right now a digital bank I think is probably the only option going forward."

Social distancing measures have increased waiting times at physical banks, as have restrictions on the amount that can be withdrawn at any one time.

But a new breed of digital banks say business is booming.

Babs Ogundeyi founded Kuda Bank in August 2019 with 500 customers.

He says since April they've taken on around 3,000 customers a day compared with 1,000 a day in the months before.

"We opened more accounts in April than we did in January, February, March put together and we have seen sort of a sustained growth from that April."

Traditional banks in Nigeria have also reported increased use of their digital services and financial analyst Ugo Obi-Chukwu says they are going to compete for customers.

"It is not going to be that simple because the traditional banks are also investing a lot in digital so it is going to be an interesting space to watch in the next few years."

One outstanding issue is the internet.

Poor connectivity means customers can still get stuck with long delays even without having to physically queue at the bank.