Absa recently confirmed that a WhatsApp-based banking service was part of its digital banking strategy.
Although the service has not officially launched, parts of it are already active.
WhatsApp banking forms part of the bank’s ChatBanking service, which was available through Facebook Messenger and Twitter.
Transactions available through the service include viewing accounts and rewards balances, checking recent transactions, and buying airtime, data, SMS bundles, and prepaid electricity.
You can also get a mini credit report and make payments to existing beneficiaries, provided you have paid them at least twice before.
Absa WhatsApp banking security
The terms and conditions of Absa ChatBanking include a section with important security information to put clients at ease when using the service.
“If a fake WhatsApp, Twitter, or Facebook Messenger user tried to pretend to be Absa, they would not have access to your secure banking information and the service would not be able to work. No transactions could take place as they would not be linked to our system,” said Absa.
To ensure that you are linked to the real Absa ChatBanking account, add the call centre number as a contact (08600 08600) and only chat to it. Do not respond to strange numbers claiming to be Absa – add the call centre number yourself, and confirm it yourself.
Another mechanism WhatsApp uses to ensure that you know you are speaking to the real Absa account is a security message displayed at the start of the chat.
“This message cannot be faked by a scammer as it is generated by WhatsApp,” said Absa.
The message appears in yellow, while other messages from Absa will appear in white.
It has a lock icon and has the following text: “Messages to this chat and calls are now secured with end-to-end encryption. Absa ChatBanking may use another company to store, read and respond to your messages and calls. Tap for more info.”
A screenshot of the security message is shown below.
Absa WhatsApp ChatBanking registration
To register for the service, users must create a new chat with the Absa contact and send a message which says “Hi”.
You will then be presented with prompts and can begin registration by typing “yes”. Absa will send a SureCheck message to your phone, which will allow you to verify the registration.
It will then prompt you to choose the account you wish to link to ChatBanking, or cancel the process.
Using Absa WhatsApp ChatBanking
Once registered, you can see the options available in ChatBanking by sending the message “menu”, or “shortcuts”.
Screenshots of these menus are shown below.
User are also able to unsubscribe from WhatsApp ChatBanking by messaging “unsubscribe” to the contact.