Absa Bank has launched a new innovation that allows its customers to access their bank accounts and transact via WhatsApp.

Through this solution, Absa customers are able to conduct digital transactions such as account-to-MPESA/Airtel Money transfers, inter-account transfers, bill payments, balance enquiry, among others, on WhatsApp.

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. This proposition transitions chat bots from being just a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) service to an intuitive banking interface.

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. About 97% of all internet users in the country active on WhatsApp, presenting a unique opportunity for Absa to accelerate digital adoption of its wide array of services.

Speaking during the official launch of this service, Absa Bank MD Jeremy Awori said that the move is a demonstration of the bank’s commitment to continue investing in digitally led innovative solutions. Mr. Awori added that the bank has committed to invest at least Ksh. 1.6 billion this year towards digitalization, automation and innovation to improve customer experience.

“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. 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,” Mr. Awori added.

To make it even more personal, the bank has given this functionality a human personality as a dedicated round-the-clock banking assistant named Abby.

“We have installed a multi-layered approach from a security perspective. Firstly, all traffic between the phone, WhatsApp and the back end are fully encrypted. The second layer of security is around registration. When we register a customer, we look at the cellphone number, we analyze 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,” explained Mr. Awori.

How to register for Absa WhatsApp banking

  • Save Abby’s number 0710 130 000 as a contact on your cell phone.
  • Open WhatsApp and search for Abby in your contact list
  • Say ‘Hello’ to register and follow the steps to start transacting.