Absa Bank Kenya has launched an innovation that allows its customers to access their bank accounts and transact via WhatsApp.
The innovation allows Absa customers to effect mobile transactions, inter-account transfers, bill payments, balance inquiries, among others, on the platform.
Speaking during the launch, Absa Bank Kenya MD Jeremy Awori said the move is a demonstration of the bank’s commitment to continue investing in digitally-led innovative solutions that have the potential to significantly transform the customer experience.
”Essentially, we are transforming banking from being a series of complex transactions into a simple conversation on WhatsApp,” Awori said.
The bank has committed to invest at least Sh1.6 billion this year towards digitalization, automation and innovation.
According to the Global Web Index’s 2020 Social Media User Trends Report, Kenya has the highest percentage of monthly WhatsApp users compared to the rest of the world, with about 97 per cent of all internet users in the country active on WhatsApp.
This presents a unique opportunity for Absa to accelerate the digital adoption of its wide array of services.
The introduction of WhatsApp banking by Absa ushers the sector into the new age of banking which integrates transactional, conversational and personalized banking services in a seamless, fast and reliable way.
The digital platform will gauge and anticipate customers’ needs and requests based on its Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and analytics capabilities and consequently offer multiple solutions through core systems and delivery platforms within the bank.
“With this solution, each of our customers gets access to a 24/7 digital personal banker who can help them perform transactions upon receiving simple instructions on chat,” Awori said.
To make it even more personal, the bank has given this functionality a human personality as a dedicated, always-on banking assistant, named Abby.
Awori added that the solution sits on a sophisticated technology with many layers of authentication, making it as safe and secure as any other banking channel.
All traffic between the phone, WhatsApp and the back end is fully encrypted. The second layer of security is around registration.
When a customer is registered, the cellphone number is checked, analyzed whether it has been SIM-swapped or not and make sure that the registered cellphone number is tied to the customer’s profile at Absa.
“We have installed a multi-layered approach from the security perspective,” Awori said.