Kuda did not plan for Nigerians? Engineers, customers react to disrupted service after UK move

Omoleye Omoruyi

Technext earlier reported that Kuda is expanding its operations to the United Kingdom by offering a remittance product to Nigerians living abroad as part of a major global expansion drive.

Now, it seems the ‘i’s’ and ‘t’s’ were not ticked appropriately before the expansion plan rolled out.

Kuda has been on the Twitter trend table since Tuesday, November 8. Many Kuda customers have tweeted that they had been logged out of their accounts for unknown reasons. Some other accounts were deactivated.

In a tweet, @sokoya_philip wrote: “If you use Kuda bank, and you’ve forgotten your mobile app password because you’ve been using the biometric login. I advise you take out your money before Wednesday (12/08/22). It’s a new infrastructure, and many data will be lost.

The tweet drew attention, especially on Wednesday morning, and other customers – opening the app to check – narrated their experience:

Kuda responds to tweets

Hymned and unsatisfactory responses. There has been no explanation for the issues and why they may have happened. However, a backend engineer mentioned that geo-location might have been restricted due to the launch.

Did Kuda restrict geolocation? User restrictions of a particular app happen when the app developer sets in geolocation, not wanting other users from a certain location to access the app.

Azowenu Solomon, Backend Engineer.

Azowenu Solomon Bestz, a backend engineer, added that he sees “no other reason other users won’t be able to access the app, only if the authentication process isn’t built well, or it has gone beyond development issues, and it’s now a case of cyber attack.

Kuda bank charges N50 on bank deposits of 10,000 or above
Kuda bank imposes charges of N50 on deposits above N10,000 or above

Another software engineer, Joseph Tsegen, said that “instead of building a different system and interfacing with their current one, they decided to extend their current app.

I assume they probably just extended their servers to include UK-specific resources and added/updated their logic to allow for users from the UK to sign up on their platform.”

Joseph Tsegen, Software Engineer

He continues, “Two things can happen. One, Kuda uses a monolithic architecture. Two, Kuda uses a Microservice architecture.

In the case of one, it could be that in the processes of adding to their current build, they tampered with the current implementation, which caused it to break. This could have been dealt with if they had implemented testing for their current requirement and did proper end-to-end tests to ensure their expansion didn’t break their previous service.

There are a lot of factors that can cause this:

  1. Over-reliance on third-party services.
  2. Poor code quality.
  3. Not accounting for the fact that what they are doing would cause them to make drastic changes in their database.

Number three is a major issue, especially with adding new features on the backend. It is possible to make changes which affect the state of the database in some way that causes problems. This is why it is important to have backups, just in case.”

Ignoring most of the ‘noise,’ Kuda announced, “After investments of over $90 million, we have launched the money app for Africans in Nigeria and the UK today!

“This all-new app brings to life our longtime dream of giving Africans easy access to frictionless and affordable financial services.”

That is all we may get as per the glitch – an announcement instead, and you will be surprised that this is coming after a report that Kuda Bank made a loss of over 6 billion Naira in one year.

“By the end of the 2021 financial year, the company recorded a loss of ₦6,092,554,866 ($14,214,681), a 602% rise from the ₦868,062,000 ($2,025,295) loss it made in 2020, according to its financial report.

“The financial report indicated that the company’s revenue increased by 4,315% from ₦72,649,000 in 2020 to ₦3,207,177,570 in 2021. However, after every expense had been deducted, the company closed the year at a net loss, with high credit loss/impairment charge and operating expenses contributing the most to the loss.”

Kuda has not responded to requests for comment at press time.

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