Housing Finance has launched the HF WhatsApp banking solution to offer customized mobile banking services to its customers, effectively becoming the first bank in the region to commercially go live with this product.
Working with partners, the new product 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. This capability we are pioneering enables HF’s customers to manage their banking needs within their WhatsApp chat with the same efficiency as services obtained at our branches and other digital banking platforms. Customers can simply add HF’s WhatsApp phone number to begin a secure Chat Banking session,’’ said HF Group CEO Robert Kibaara.
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.
Combining this powerful and interactive platform with Artificial intelligence (AI), enables businesses to scale their offerings to keep abreast with customer changing preferences. AI makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks.
“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 conveniently,” added Mr Kibaara.
This new channel is part of HF’s digital banking strategy and cements its commitment to providing solutions to social and economic challenges through innovation geared at resolving critical issues around ease of access, convenience, safety and simplicity of essential financial services.
Kenya tops the list of African countries with ease of access to financial services thanks in part to its high uptake of mobile money, placing the country ahead of economic giants such as South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana. Other key drivers of this development include mobile adoption and internet connectivity. 84 percent of Kenya’s population has access to the Internet. 91 percent of Kenya’s total population has a mobile phone, compared to the average of 80 percent mobile penetration in all of Africa. The most used social media platforms identified in Kenya is WhatsApp with 74% population usage according to the Jumia Kenya Mobile Report 2019.