Housing finance becomes the first bank in the whole of Africa to introduce WhatsApp banking to improve service delivery to its customers.
HF unveiled this product in partnership with the cloud communication firm Infobip, Wayawaya, Kocela and Myriad and it will be beneficial to all its customers including the new and the existing ones.
The WhatsApp banking that is focused on boosting interactions between the customers and the bank is seen as HF’s digital strategy to increase profitability as the bank reverse the loss it incurred for the first six months of 2019.
Unveiling the product on Thursday, HF Group CEO Robert Kibaara said that using WhatsApp banking is an important step for the bank as it would get to interact closely and understand the customers’ needs better.
‘’A highly popular messaging platform with millions of active users in Kenya, WhatsApp unlocks an opportunity for us to offer our customers a more personal, intuitive and efficient way to engage with them on chat,” Kibaara said.
This service will be similar to the services offered at the bank agents, branches and other digital banking services.
The service will require the customer to save the bank’s WhatsApp number, meaning that the interaction between the customer will be on a personal and confidential basis. It will be upon the customer to safeguard his or her chats.
WhatsApp banking will be beneficial as the customer will use it to open a bank account, requesting for loans, transferring of funds, payment of bills and payment of goods and services among other services that the bank would offer.
“Customers’ expectations are constantly changing and it’s our duty as a customer-centric bank to ensure that our customers are provided with the means to initiate or carry out banking services through any channel they desire wherever they are convenient,” added Mr. Kibaara.
Kenya is ranked top in sub-Saharan Africa for offering better digital banking services and ease of access to financial services thanks to the constant innovation and mobile banking services.
Kenya’s mobile penetration is also at 90 percent as compared to Africa’s 80 percent with WhatsApp being the most used social media platform. This means that HF’s strategy is likely to reach a good number of people at a go.