African Bank has launched a Chat Banking service on WhatsApp that will allow customers to chat directly with the bank just like any other WhatsApp contact.
“We chose WhatsApp as it’s the most popular mobile app in South Africa, with more than half the number of smartphone users having downloaded it. Customers will be able to interact with us in a way which is convenient and familiar to them,” African Bank chief marketing officer Sbusiso Kumalo said.
According to the bank, Chat Banking removes the barrier of uploading documents for customers when applying for loans and other products.
Kumalo said that since the soft launch of the service in August the response from customers had been encouraging and the platform was building confidence in digital banking.
“We are finding the majority of chats are around checking account balances, requesting a statement, getting a settlement quote or attaching documents to an application,“ Kumalo said.
The bank assures customers that Chat Banking is a safe and secure platform to transact with African Bank and advises customers that in the event that their phone is stolen, the incident needs to be reported to the bank immediately.
“African Bank plans to expand its offering even further in future, improving the customer experience as well as making it more intelligent with added functional features,” Kumalo said.
African Bank customers should note that standard WhatsApp data rates apply with Chat Banking.
How to sign up for African Bank’s Chat Banking:
1. Register as a customer on one of African Bank’s new age Omni Channel platforms (either via branch, call centre, web or app).
2. Save the number 0600 123 716 in your phone contacts under a name that will be easy to remember.
3. Type in “hi” and follow the prompts to get started.