Whatsapp Banking in Zimbabwe

The idea of Whatsapp Banking would have been unthinkable a few years ago. In fact I remember some colleagues expressing displeasure at the idea of someone contacting them via whatsapp for business.

Fast forward a few years and in 2019 if you are not using whatsapp to more easily connect with your clients then that is reason number one why you may not be reaching as wide a market as you would like. The fact is social media tools like Whatsapp and Facebook are morphing into professional tools and more importantly, critical business tools as indicative by a lot of bank’s move to introduce Whatsapp and Facebook Banking.

When you think about it, SMS banking is already part of your bank’s mobile banking tools so it only makes sense that Banks introduce whatsapp as an option because let’s face it, how many of us actually use SMS in 2019? I bet some of you have unread SMS messages from 2018.

Whatsapp banking makes it even easier to check you r bank balance, pay for your bills, transfer funds to another account, buy airtime etc right from inside the app. It’s actually quite simple to use…

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Simply add your bank’s whatsapp banking number (you get this number from your bank) then refresh your whatsapp contacts and send a ‘hi’ message to the new contact. Once you do that the bank’s virtual assistant will respond and provide you options of the available banking services much like you probably currently do via USSD banking. If it’s your first time setting up your whatsapp banking, the virtual assistant may ask for your name before presenting you with available banking services.

In Zimbabwe Steward Bank is the first to launch such a service and from what we can tell a lot of users are loving the service. Steward Bank virtual Assistant’s name is Batsi and their whatsapp banking contact number is +263 77 722 2333.

Absa Group, a rebrand Barclays Africa Group, was the first to introduce whatsapp banking in the region in 2018. Other developing countries that have implemented whatsapp banking including India where whatsapp has 200 million users, making it the largest market for whatsapp.

Our guess is that other banks in Zimbabwe will follow suit soon and implement whatsapp banking. Then the next stage will be implementing this service in online shops and malls to make online payments even easier and hopefully more affordable as they are currently expensive prompting most online malls to prefer offline payments.

Are you using Whatsapp Banking in Zimbabwe? What’s your experience? Would you recommend the service to others and which bank are you using it with?

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