Absa Bank Seychelles launches digital assistant on the WhatsApp platform
A chatbot allows users to check their account balances, make payments to existing beneficiaries, pay bills among others. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Absa Bank Seychelles on Monday launched a digital assistant that helps customers conduct their banking needs through WhatsApp.
A chatbot allows users to check their account balances, make payments to existing beneficiaries, pay bills, check their transaction history and search for transactions, make inter-account transfers and in the case of credit card account owners, review their account information.
The head of product, digital, segment of the bank, Murugan Pillay, said that he and his team are "excited to launch an upgraded way of banking using a conversational platform where customers will have the opportunity to now carry out their day to day transactions all on WhatsApp."
Pillay said in recent times there has been a rise of innovations that are slowly transforming the way the banking industry operates.
"In addition, COVID-19 continues to change the way our customers interact with the bank. Through our Chat Banking capability, we are serving our customers' transaction needs in real time, conveniently and safely across the African continent," he said.
To communicate with Abby, an Absa Bank Seychelles customer simply has to add 'her' contact -- +2482521878 -- to their phone and send 'Hello' to the bot via WhatsApp. Abby will provide instructions on services clients can obtain automatically.
The bank's head of marketing and corporate relations, Amanda Bernstein, told the press that the more a customer interacts with it, the better the programme understands the client, resulting in a better banking experience. Should Abby not understand a request or question, she will ask for clarifications. Bernstein added that the platform is one that is secure.
"I would encourage clients to visit our website for more information. There is a link through which we will verify that we are talking to the clients themselves. WhatsApp already has its added security features and your phone has its biometrics and such," said Bernstein.
"Following our successful transition to Absa, our goal is to become a digitally led financial partner. We believe in creating opportunities for our customers as we bring their possibilities to life. As a bank, we remain dedicated to finding differentiated transactional banking propositions to meet the evolving needs of our customers by providing innovative, digitised products delivered through personalised service," said Johan Van Schalkwyk, the bank's managing director.