South African Bank Launches ‘Whatsapp Banking.’ Yes You Read That Right.

If you follow news from our neighbour down south, you may have heard that Absa –the financial institution- recently rebranded. Maybe a less reported aspect of this rebranding was the fact that they also announced what they are calling ‘Whatsapp banking’.

I only got to stumble upon this after someone likened Absa’s Whatsapp banking to Whatsapp payments that are waiting for permission from the Indian government in our article earlier this week. Shoutout to you Martin Louw for the enlightening comment. I do however disagree with the comment itself which said:

ABSA launched this service in South Africa on the 1st of July. It was big news and a first in the world for the Banking Sector and Whatsapp. My company Clickatell developed this service.


The concept of Whatsapp banking (as offered by Absa) itself is very cool but I wouldn’t liken it to the solution that Whatsapp is thinking of implementing as that is actually built into Whatsapp as a feature and not an add-on. Essentially, Absa has created a bot that can handle customers’ requests via Whatsapp and this is still very cool.

How does it work?

Individuals banking with Absa can do the following through the Whatsapp banking platform:

  • Check balance;
  • buy electricity;
  • purchase airtime and data;
  • and also transfer money between bank accounts

To initiate the transactions, individuals also need to have the Absa app installed and then sending a simple “hi” message to the number provided by Absa will give users access to ChatBanking  on Whatsapp as the service is officially named.

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3 thoughts on “South African Bank Launches ‘Whatsapp Banking.’ Yes You Read That Right.

  1. Hey Farai, thank you for the shoutout, sincerely appreciated. Even if you somewhat differ with my description of “WhatsApp Banking”. Would love to share more detail on what we have done for ABSA in SA and 3 banks in Nigeria (so far) with you. Inbox me if you want to discuss further. Regards, Martin>

  2. My cash already interacts with customers via WhatsApp and take it from me it works.. you can get statements etc…

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