Kenyan Bank Absa Bank has inaugurated a WhatsApp-based, 24/7 operating, conversational bot called "Abby" to ease banking for its customers. The platform gives the bank's customers access to basic transactions such as bill payments, balance enquiry, inter-account transfers and account-to-M-Pesa/Airtel money transfers, all with the ease of the instant messaging platform.
"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", the Managing Director of Absa Bank, Mr Jeremy Awori
Although the company claims that the WhatsApp service is "first-in-market", financial institutions like First Bank in Nigeria and the Housing Finance Bank of Kenya broke new ground as they launched WhatsApp banking in 2018 and 2019.
Formerly Barclays Bank, Absa Bank is a subsidiary and a significant shareholder at the South African Group, Absa Group, with about 68.5% ownership and assets worth over $3.6 billion (374.1 billion KES)-Wikipedia-. The Group earlier disclosed its intentions to leverage innovative technologies to improve customer's experience.
A survey recently conducted by Global Web Index's Social Media Marketing Trends in 2021 revealed that 97% of Kenyan internet users use WhatsApp Monthly –the largest globally. The bank previously committed KES 1.6 billion ($14.6 million) to its digitization process, whereby exploiting the instant message platform begins that process.
Registering at Absa's WhatsApp banking platform includes a set of easy steps, from saving Abby's number (0710 130 000) as a contact to your cell phone to texting 'Hello' on WhatsApp to begin registration and transacting, the initiative has eased complex banking procedures.
Kenya in focus
GDP: $98.843 billion in 2020 compared to $95,503 billion in 2019
Population: 53,771,300 in 2020 compared to 52,573,967 in 2019
GDP per capita: $1,838 in 2020 compared to $1,816 in 2019