Absa puts banking on Twitter

Source: Absa

Absa has launched ChatBanking, the first service in Africa which allows you to conduct your day-to-day banking from your Twitter account, without interrupting your session on the social media website.

The secure, private and convenient service was launched on Twitter today and will eventually be rolled out to other social media platforms.

Changes in customer behaviour require that banking has to be available anytime, anywhere, and accessible through multiple channels. In addition, social media has transformed the traditional relationship between business and customers in the same way as it has changed how individuals interact with one another.

“The launch of ChatBanking on Twitter shows our commitment to delight our customers and offer them a smooth digital banking experience - from start to finish, in real time and now also on their favourite social media platform,” says Ashley Veasey, Group Chief Information Officer and Chief Digital Officer at Barclays Africa.

A recent study by global research firm Nielsen showed that Twitter, most often accessed “on the move” and “in the moment”, is an everyday activity for most South Africans. The study found that 61% of local users visit Twitter at least 2 to 5 times daily, with the average time spent on social media channels at around 2 hours and 43 minutes per day. “To deliver a cool banking experience, we are bringing banking to where our customers spend their time. The service, another first from Absa, allows customers to bank conveniently and efficiently without having to leave Twitter,” says Ashley.

“ChatBanking is as easy as sharing social commentary or political views in 140 characters or less and offers the bank a conversational and fun way of enhancing social engagement with our customers.”

As part of the initial offering Absa customers will be able use ChatBanking to conduct the following transactions:

• Get the actual and available balance on your transactional account.
• Buy airtime or data for the cellphone registered to your account.
• Obtain a mini-statement showing the most recent transactions on your account.

Accessing ChatBanking via Twitter is simple. In a one-time only process you will register in a secure environment which will link your Twitter profile to your Absa bank account.

Here are the easy steps you need to follow to add your ChatBanking profile:
• Logon to Absa Online from www.absa.co.za
• From the Express tab in Absa Online click on Settings
• Click on Manage ChatBanking
• Click on Add Profile

“Once you have added your profile via Express on Absa Online and followed @AbsaChatBanking, all you have to do is send a private message to @AbsaChatBanking from Twitter to get going, then simply say “hi” to get started,” explains Ashley.

Your personal information is protected and your account number and personal details will never be displayed in a chat. “This means that even in the event of your cellphone being stolen or someone gaining access to your Twitter account, they would not be able to abuse the information, the same way that someone who picked up your old ATM slip would not be able to use the information on it,” says Ashley.

“You are only able to purchase airtime and data for yourself, so even if someone took control of your Twitter account, they would not be able to change the information to purchase airtime or data for themselves,” he says.

“As technology advances and more customers become connected, bringing banking to where our customers are is important to us. The launch of ChatBanking follows the momentum created by recent digital innovations such as the ability to do online debit order reversals, our online FICA document upload service as well as reverse billing for customers who interact with our banking app. We are very proud to be building the future of our bank,” concludes Ashley.

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