Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria’s commercial bank, in collaboration with Clickatell, a global mobile communications and chat commerce company, have announced a unique and very personalized banking experience for existing customers and prospective account holders through the popular messaging app – WhatsApp.
Customers can now initiate bank transfers, and airtime and bill payments, check balance and BVN enquiries, as well as statement generation directly on WhatsApp with the aid of Kiki, a new personalised financial assistant.
The financial assistant also connects customers directly to customer service, making dispute resolution seamless.
Designed to provide personalised service to every customer of the bank, Kiki possesses conversational intelligence and will answer questions related to personal finances once prompted. Kiki makes initiating banking transactions as easy as chatting with friends through the bank’s verified WhatsApp number – +234 906 000 6449.
Oladipo Alabede, Group Head of Digital Banking at Sterling Bank, said “Delivering banking on WhatsApp for instant messaging is desirous by our customers who want a reliable, convenient, and safe medium to perform basic banking transactions on their mobile devices. It eases the stress of moving between apps before transactions can be concluded.”
According to Alabede, WhatsApp is easy, safe, fast and secure. “It has improved security that prevents fraud and enables customers to have access to all their accounts. The service is designed for self-service registration and the customers can sign on from any location. The current features of the app include Sterling to Sterling and Sterling to other banks’ transfers, airtime top-up, bill payments, balance enquiry, BVN enquiry and statement generation, among others.”
“We are pleased to help Sterling Bank enable chat banking on WhatsApp, making banking services available to its customers anytime and everywhere on a channel they use daily,” says Samson Isa, Director – West Africa for Clickatell. He added, “Chat banking is the future of financial services with bank customers preferring the channel for conducting routine banking, as it is fast, simple, and secure. We are proud to be leading this shift in financial services, along with customers like Sterling Bank.”
For a customer to get started, Alabede explained that he or she would need to follow three simple steps.
Firstly, the customer would have to save the mobile number +234 906 000 6449 as a contact on his/her device and should remember to save the number as “Kiki.”
Secondly, once the number has been saved, the customer should start a conversation by typing “Hi,” “Hello” or “Hey,” among others, and sending the message to Kiki.
Lastly, the prospective customer should agree to the terms and conditions by sending “I AGREE” followed by the account number to Kiki. Thereafter, an OTP will be sent to the registered mobile number for validation. The customer is also expected to set a transaction PIN using his/her debit card.
Alabede said the customer must use the mobile number registered on his/her Sterling account to enjoy the service.
He added that a new set of features will soon be enabled, as the bank is exploring ways to serve customers better with the introduction of micro lending, micro investment, account opening, card request, and credit rating, among others.