INNOVATION

Absa launches WhatsApp banking dubbed 'Abby'

Customers will be able to conduct some of the most popular digital transactions via WhatsApp.

In Summary

•Speaking during the official launch of this service,  Managing Director Jeremy Awori said the move is a demonstration of the bank’s commitment to continue investing in digitally led innovative solutions.

•He said the bank has committed to invest at least Sh1.6 billion this year towards digitalization, automation and innovation.

Pic (i) - (From Left to Right) Absa's Chief Strategy Officer Moses Muthui, Managing Director Jeremy Awori and Head of Digital Andrew Mwithiga during the official launch of Abby, Absa's WhatsApp digital assistant.
Pic (i) - (From Left to Right) Absa's Chief Strategy Officer Moses Muthui, Managing Director Jeremy Awori and Head of Digital Andrew Mwithiga during the official launch of Abby, Absa's WhatsApp digital assistant.
Image: ABSA

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

The bank has given this functionality a human personality as a dedicated, always-on banking assistant, named Abby.

Through this innovation, customers will be in a position to conduct some of the most popular digital transactions in the market such as account-to-Mpesa/Airtel Money transfers, inter-account transfers, bill payments, balance enquiry, among others, on WhatsApp.  

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.

Speaking during the official launch of this service on Tuesday,  Managing Director Jeremy Awori said the move is a demonstration of the bank’s commitment to continue investing in digitally led innovative solutions.

He said the bank has committed to invest at least Sh1.6 billion this year towards digitsation, automation and innovation.

“Essentially, we are transforming banking from being a series of complex transactions into a simple conversation on WhatsApp," he said.

"We have shaped a rich history as a bank of many firsts and today we are excited to continue on this streak of innovation."   

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, with about 97% of all internet users in the country active on WhatsApp.

The introduction of WhatsApp banking ushers the sector into the new age of banking which integrates transactional, conversational and personalized banking services in a seamless, fast and reliable way.

“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.," he said.

"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."

Awori said they have installed a multi-layered approach from a security perspective.

He said 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," he said.