Changes in customer behaviour require that banking has to be available anytime, anywhere, and accessible wherever the customer is.

Absa will later today launch ChatBanking for Facebook Messenger, a world-first in banking technology which allows you to conduct your banking without ever having to leave your favourite social media platform.

The launch of the secure, private and fully integrated banking service on Facebook Messenger follows soon after the introduction of Absa ChatBanking on Twitter in May this year.

“Our customers already use Facebook for their daily dose of global news, to share photos with friends and family and even solve their business issues. To deliver a cool banking experience, we are bringing banking to where our customers spend their time. The service, a world first from Absa, allows customers to do their “liking” and banking in the same space,” says Ashley Veasey, Group Chief Information Officer and Chief Digital Officer at Barclays Africa.

The recent Social Media Landscape 2016 study conducted by World Wide Worx and Fuseware has revealed that Facebook is now used by 13 million South Africans, a quarter of the population. This means that Facebook has seen an 8% year-on-year growth with the majority of users accessing the social media platform through their mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets.

“Changes in customer behaviour require that banking has to be available anytime, anywhere, and accessible wherever the customer is. The launch of ChatBanking for Facebook Messenger, in addition to Twitter, will open many doors for easier, better digital interactions to take place wherever the customer is. It offers an even faster, simpler, and richer experience than traditional digital banking channels,” says Veasey.

“ChatBanking for Facebook Messenger is as easy as sharing a photo or social commentary on your Facebook page and offers a more intuitive, more accessible and more efficient engagement with our customers through conversational interfaces.”

As part of the ground-breaking offering, Absa customers will be able to use Facebook Messenger as well as Twitter to conduct the following transactions:

  • Get the actual and available balance on their transactional account
  • Buy airtime or data for the cellphone registered to their account
  • Get a mini-statement showing the last few transactions on their account
  • Buy PrePaid Electricity* for selected municipalities
  • Make a payment to an existing beneficiary that they have paid at least once before
  • Learn about special shortcuts to make ChatBanking even faster

Accessing ChatBanking for Facebook Messenger is simple. In a one-time only process, Absa customers who are registered for Absa Online and have access to the Express tab, can register for ChatBanking for Facebook Messenger.

Here are the easy steps you need to follow to add your Facebook Messenger 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 and follow the prompts
  • Once you click on Add profile and select Facebook from the drop down, you will need to click continue to get the various options available to complete your registration
  • Choose the option that is easiest for you to complete your profile verification

“Once you have added your profile via Express on Absa Online and verified your profile by sending a private message to AbsaChatBanking via Facebook Messenger using the unique registration code provided, you simply need to send a private message saying “hi” to get started,” says Veasey.

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 Facebook account, they would not be able to abuse the information,” says Veasey.

“The launch of ChatBanking for Facebook Messenger follows the momentum created by our recent launch of ChatBanking on Twitter. We have seen a great take-up on the Twitter platform amongst early adopters, specifically for airtime and data purchases. As technology advances and more customers become connected, bringing banking to where our customers are is important to us and we are very proud to be building the future of our bank,” he says.

Absa has also recently launched the bank’s newly designed website. “We have optimised our website to create the best user experience possible for our customers, whether they are accessing the site from a desktop or a smart device. Sleeker design and smoother navigation all add up to an ease-of-use experience that’s literally turning heads,” concludes Veasey.