Absa Bank Kenya has launched a new digital innovation dubbed Abby, which allows its customers to access their accounts and transact via WhatsApp.
Abby is an AI- powered conversational bot that allows customers to do the following:
- Account to account transfers
- Bill payments
- Account to MPESA/Airtel Money transfer
- Balance inquiry
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.
Banking on the Global Web Index’s 2020 Social Media User Trends Report that showed 97% of Kenyans with internet connectivity are active users of Whatsapp, Absa Managing Director Jeremy Awori said the bank is looking to help customers bank at the comfort of their homes, at any time.
With this solution, each of our customers gets access to a 24/7 digital assistant who can help perform transactions upon receiving simple instructions on WhatsApp. This solution sits on a technology with many moving parts and layers of authentication. The messages are end to end encrypted and customers will have to log in with your internet banking credentials to access artificial intelligence and machine learning. This means it is upon the customer to learn the words and phrases you often use when requesting for a service, and it will interpret those words into specific instructions.Absa Managing Director Jeremy Awori
Andrew Muthiga, Head of Digital Channels at Absa adds that for security purposes, the customer doesn’t have to pass sensitive information via WhatsApp such as account numbers, pins, and passwords. “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.
The innovation comes at a time when the bank has committed to invest at least KSh1.6 billion this year towards digitisation, automation and innovation.