Steward Bank in Zimbabwe is the latest in a series of major banks across Africa to successfully integrate and offer chat banking services on WhatsApp. Clickatell is an authorized global WhatsApp Business solution provider headquartered in the US. Its chat banking customers include ABSA, UBA, GT Bank, and First Bank of Nigeria.

WhatsApp is a popular chat application in Zimbabwe, and Steward Bank’s presence on WhatsApp unlocks financial inclusion for millions of people who are already using WhatsApp. The advantages to the Steward bank customer using WhatsApp include convenience, speed, and efficiency for frequently used banking activities.

Steward Bank is primed to see a positive uptake for their WhatsApp-based chat banking service, Sosholoza. Through Sosholoza, Steward Bank customers can enjoy customer service via WhatsApp. The bank intends to expand its reach to WhatsApp users in the country, eliminating the need for these users to download and use a banking app that could use costly data bundles. With Sosholoza, customers can initiate frequently used banking capabilities including balance checks, money transfers, and airtime purchases.

Steward Bank chat banking on WhatsApp

“Just over 37,000 customer profiles were registered in the first three weeks following the launch,” says Dr Lance Mambondiani, CEO at Steward Bank. “The simplicity of on-boarding and transaction initiation have been key contributors to these numbers.”  Getting started with the Sosholoza service is as simple as initiating a chat with a friend on WhatsApp, with users simply needing to save the Steward Bank WhatsApp number and begin the conversation with a “Hi” message. Security and privacy for banking chats are ensured by the bank-grade Clickatell platforms.

The benefits for financial establishments like Steward Bank are clear, as Dr Mambondiani explains: “Sosholoza on WhatsApp has expanded Steward Bank's services to non-Steward Bank customers regardless of geographical location, bank affiliation, and even mobile money operator affiliation. Customers can easily make enquiries and raise queries right at the point of need. The WhatsApp Business solution has enabled us to enhance our accessibility and remain in constant touch with our customer needs.”

Chat banking is only the beginning

While the WhatsApp Business solution is revolutionizing how financial institutions engage with their customers, the platform’s capabilities are being rapidly extended to other verticals including retail, e-commerce, and travel. With the ability to deliver the convenience of automated and live agent customer service, Clickatell’s differentiated offerings enable the dual benefit of providing both a superior customer care experience and deeper engagement for frequently used services.

Learn more about how Clickatell can help you create delightful conversations with your customers on WhatsApp.

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