DIGITISATION

HF Group unveils first Whatsapp banking in Africa

The lender reported a Sh97 million loss for the first six months of operations in 2019 compared to a narrow profit of Sh6.8 million preceding period last year

In Summary

• The new channel is part of HF’s digital banking strategy aimed at improving efficiency, targeting to return to profitability.

• The platform allows customers to interact with the bank through WhatsApp for functions such as virtual account opening, funds transfers, loans, bill payments, goods purchases among other services.

HF Group CEO Robert Kibaara (centre) engages property selling agents during the launch of the Shika Nyumba na HF in Nairobi.
HF Group CEO Robert Kibaara (centre) engages property selling agents during the launch of the Shika Nyumba na HF in Nairobi.

HF Group yon Thursday launched a WhatsApp banking solution, making it the first bank in the region to commercially go live with this product.

The mortgage lender partnered with cloud communication firm Infobip, Wayawaya, Kocela and Myriad to roll out the l product to its existing and new customers.

The platform allows customers to interact with the bank through WhatsApp for functions such as virtual account opening, funds transfers, loans, bill payments, goods purchases among other services.

 
 

‘’ 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,’’HF Group CEO Robert Kibaara said.

He said the innovation would enable customers to manage their banking needs within their WhatsApp chat similar to  services obtained at branches and other digital banking platforms.

To subscribe to this service, customers are required to save the bank’s WhatsApp phone number – meaning access to the chat is granted on an individual and personalized basis.

The new channel is part of HF’s digital banking strategy aimed improving efficiency, targeting to return to profitability.

The lender reported a Sh97 million loss for the first six months of operations in 2019 compared to a narrow profit of Sh6.8 million preceding period last year.

The loss was attributed to a plunge in both loan issuance and deposit mobilization.

Enhancing the customer experience is a goal that all big companies should strive to achieve, and we’re thrilled that HF Group was one of the first financial institutions that recognized this opportunity in Kenya,’’ Rachel Njiru, Infobip’s managing director for Kenya said.