Absa Bank Kenya, a subsidiary of South Africa’s Absa Group, has launched a WhatsApp banking solution called “Abby”, that will allow its customers to access their bank accounts and transact through the messaging app.
According to the bank, the new innovation will allow the bank’s customers to transfer money from account-to-Mpesa/Airtel Money, inter-account transfers, bill payments, balance enquiry, among others, on WhatsApp.
Speaking during the official launch of this service, Absa Bank Kenya Managing Director Jeremy Awori stated that the move is part of the bank’s commitment to continue investing in digitally-led innovative solutions.
It is also part of its commitment to invest at least Sh1.6 billion this year towards digitization, automation and innovation.
“This is a really exciting moment for us at Absa not just because this solution is first-in-market, but more so because it will significantly transform the way our customers interact with us. Essentially, we are transforming banking from being a series of complex transactions into a simple conversation on WhatsApp. We have shaped a rich history as a bank of many firsts and today we are excited to continue on this streak of innovation,” said Awori.
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 97pc of all internet users in the country active on WhatsApp. The bank said this presents a unique opportunity for Absa to accelerate the digital adoption of its wide array of services.
Absa says the launch of WhatsApp banking ushers the sector into the new age of banking which integrates transactional, conversational, and personalized banking services in a seamless, fast and reliable way.
This proposition transitions chatbots from being just a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) service to a holistic banking interface that is intuitive.
The digital platform is expected to gauge and anticipate customers’ needs and requests based on its Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, and analytics capabilities and consequently offer a myriad of 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. So, the same way one would call their Relationship Manager or go to the branch to initiate a transaction, now you will just need to issue instructions by chatting on WhatsApp,” Awori said.
The bank has also given the dedicated, always-on banking assistant, a name, Abby, to give it a personalized human touch.
How to Use Absa WhatsApp Banking
To register for Absa WhatsApp banking;
- Save Abby’s number 0710 130 000 as a contact on your cell phone. (alternatively, click this link)
- Open WhatsApp and search for Abby in your contact list.
- Say ‘Hello’ to register and follow the steps to start transacting.