Nigeria’s tech startup ‘kuda’ has been keeping users safe from police brutality.
It is no secret that currently the youth in Nigeria has been under serious police brutality and constant fear for their lives. There have been several digital campaigns to end police brutality and to dissolve the unit known as SAARS to keep them from harming people. Different institutions have taken it upon themselves to create ways that they can protect Nigerian youth. One place that has taken the initiative is Nigeria’s fintech startup digital bank known as Kuda.
Kuda created a feature on their app that would enable them to set a fake amount on their account and this would be the “panic balance”. How it works is that if a user feels they are under threat they can display the fake amount which be a lot less than what is in their actual account. The hope would be that the robbers would be deterred by the bank account balance and leave the user alone.
Kuda created this specific feature to protect Nigerians from the Nigeria Police Force. Even though this was created during this crisis it is a feature that forces other fintechs to think of how they can create survival mechanisms into their products, so as to protect themselves from their “supposed protectors.”
Startups in Nigeria which are predominantly led by young people have been affected by the SARS. In the last few years this special unit that is meant to protect people have been terrorizing people and extorting them.The fight against police brutality is ongoing and seems to be a long road ahead especially for companies that are hoping to change the tech scene in Nigeria.
Bademosi’s newly-launched fintech startup, Bundle, has also set up three cryptocurrency wallets to raise funds globally in support of #EndSARS protestors and victims of SARS and has contributed NGN 1 Mn (USD 2.6 K) to the fund.