KENYA – Housing Finance Group launched a WhatsApp banking solution to offer customized mobile banking services to its customers.

The mortgage lender has launched the product in partnership with Infobip, the global cloud communication company for businesses, Wayawaya, Kocela and Myriad, the solution is part of HF’s digital banking strategy.

This making it the first bank in the region and 2nd in Africa to commercially go live with this product.

The bank noted that WhatsApp simplifies communication, with customers only needing to add HF Group’s phone number to the app to establish a link.

The platform 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.

HF Group CEO, Robert Kibaara, said; ‘’ 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,’’

 “Banks are becoming a place where people don’t go anymore and what we are offering is to ensure convenience to our customers,”.

“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 convenient.” He added.

According to him, the main concern before the launch was security of customer funds, an issue he says has been addressed.

“We employed the services of top IT companies in the country to try and break through our firewall and expose weaknesses in the system before we launch it,”

He said the innovation would enable customers to manage their banking needs within their WhatsApp chat similar to services obtained at branches and other digital banking platforms.

The bank uses artificial intelligence to interact with customers and perform human-like tasks.

To subscribe to this service, customers are required to save the bank’s WhatsApp phone number. this means access to the chat is granted on an individual and personalized basis.