Enhancing customer experience is at the top of digital banking priorities. It comes as no surprise that the banking sector is at the forefront of redefining how consumers engage and transact.
Thanks to the internet and widespread use of mobile devices, people nowadays have unprecedented access to information. Customers are empowered more than ever to make well-informed decisions on various products and services. It has been rightly said that we are living in the age of customers.
WhatsApp Banking Services
WhatsApp is one of the leading instant messaging platforms in the world with more than 2 billion users available in over 180 countries. It supports 40 languages on iOS and 60 different languages on Android. Since the launch of WhatsApp Business API back in 2018, companies are using the messaging platform to provide professional customer service.
With digital transformation being the need of the hour in the finance and banking sector, many banks including ICICI bank have partnered with WhatsApp allowing users to check their bank account balances in real-time, credit card details, and even open new accounts via the messaging app.
ICICI WhatsApp Banking Services
The Facebook-owned messaging platform is a great channel to extend banking services. WhatsApp has more than 400 million active users in India which makes the country its biggest market.
ICICI Bank, an Indian-based multinational banking and financial services company now offers WhatsApp Banking services. ICICI retail customers can execute a host of banking requirements instantaneously and securely through Whatsapp without the need to visit a branch.
The new service allows customers to check their savings account balance, last three transactions, credit card limit, or information on pre-approved loans and even block/unblock their credit or debit cards.
Customers can also get information on the nearest three ICICI Bank ATMs and branches near their location via WhatsApp banking. Non-ICICI bank customers can use the service to know the location of the Bank’s branches and ATM near them.
Recent additions in ICICI WhatsApp services include the ability to create fixed deposits, pay utility bills instantly. The facility to recharge prepaid mobile phones will be added shortly.
ICICI had also launched a digital banking platform called ‘ICICIStack’ before offering WhatsApp banking. ICICIStack offers nearly 500 services including digital account opening, loan and payment solutions, investments, and insurance.
WhatsApp Pay Makes Inroads into India
WhatsApp Pay is expected to roll out in India later this year in partnership with ICICI bank. A trial run was already conducted in February 2018 with ICICI Bank.
In February 2020, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) approved to roll out its digital payment service phase-wise. It will be a Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based payment facility that allows users to send and receive money via WhatsApp to their contact list. The money can also be sent to people not on the contact list through the QR code.
How to Use the ICICI Banking Services on WhatsApp?
To start using the services, ICICI customers are required to add the ICICI bank’s verified WhatsApp number into their contacts and message “Hi” from their mobile number registered with the Bank. The bank will then respond with a list of services available which contains the keywords of the services offered (keywords are highlighted for easy recognition).
The keyword for the specific service should be typed and sent to the Bank’s WhatsApp number from the customer’s registered mobile number and avail of the services instantly.
Can Customers Send Money Internationally Through Whatsapp?
Customers cannot send outward remittances or send money internationally through WhatsApp yet. However, there are many ways to send money abroad from India including wire transfer from an ICICI bank account.
Customers can track inward remittances or money sent from abroad that is pending for settlement through the ICICI WhatsApp banking App. For instance, they can send money to family and friends in India or their own ICICI bank account. ICICI Bank offers online remittance facilities via ICICIMoney2India from U.S.A., UK, and others.
Keep in mind that the remittance will be at ICICI Bank’s rate. Compare the exchange rate and transfer fees with other top money transfer service providers before sending money.
A Game Changer in Banking Experience
The growing prominence of social media in every-day life is all the more reason why retail banking should make use of messaging apps such as WhatsApp to facilitate banking requirements.
As engagement becomes more conversational, chat be it web-chat, mobile-chat is increasingly being adopted as the first contact resolution by businesses. Simplifying the customer journey and making financial management easier is a major differentiating factor. In this context, the WhatsApp business solution can be a game-changer in the banking experience.
It is a great opportunity for banks to use WhatsApp’s wide accessibility, extensive network, and the end to end encryption.
Though people are familiar with mobile and internet banking, WhatsApp banking eliminates the need to download another banking app. Through the ICICI WhatsApp service, banks can address basic and routine customer queries in an instant, saving time at both ends. What is more user-friendly is that customers can do all these while they are on the messaging platform.
Is WhatsApp Banking Safe?
The banking service on WhatsApp is safe. The WhatsApp Business solution has the privacy and security features needed for businesses to facilitate financial transactions securely.
All the messages are secured with end-to-end encryption meaning that a third party, even WhatsApp does not have access to the content of the message. The bank account details and all the other confidential information are not shared with anyone. The number of scammers and fraudsters have spiked in recent months.
Personalization for the Win
People now want personalized service and expect the service providers to understand each of their unique expectations and needs. This has brought a sea change in the way businesses are conducted.
As WhatsApp supports multiple languages, banks can chat with the customer’s preferred language to offer improved convenience. The simplicity and familiarity of the messaging platform is another plus point for customers to use it as their go-to channel for banking inquiries. This makes customers feel more comfortable while interacting with service providers.
In India, WhatsApp offers 11 local languages. These are English, Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Bangla, Urdu, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, and Gujarati.
Whatsapp Banking Services Is Here to Stay
With people staying inside their houses and banks falling short of staff amid the nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic, close to 1 million users have applied for the ICICI WhatsApp banking. WhatsApp banking has added immense convenience to their customers allowing them to bank from the comfort of their home while chatting with their friends and family on the app. It is here to stay.