HF Group maximizes on social media to launch Kenya’s first WhatsApp Banking

Housing Finance Group (HF) has launched the HF WhatsApp banking solution to offer customized mobile banking services to its customers, effectively becoming the first bank in the region to commercially go live with this product.

The lender’s customers will now be able to get their services through the social platform without presenting themselves physically to the teller/customer service desk.

According to the bank’s Executive Officer Robert Kibaara, accessible services through the initiative will be; virtual account opening, funds transfers, loans, bill payments, goods purchases among other services

The implementation allows customers to interact with the bank through WhatsApp for functions such as

‘’ A highly popular messaging platform with millions of active users in Kenya, WhatsApp unlocks an opportunity for us to offer our customers a more personal, intuitive and efficient way to engage with them on chat. This capability we are pioneering enables HF’s customers to manage their banking needs within their WhatsApp chat with the same efficiency as services obtained at our branches and other digital banking platforms. Customers can simply add HF’s WhatsApp phone number to begin a secure Chat Banking session,’’ said Mr. Kibaara.

The bank was noted to adapt to the changing wave in the digital world with Artificial Intelligence (AI) slowly becoming the norm to provide solutions to the social and economic challenges. The lender’s boss said AI through the initiative will enable the business to scale its offering to keep abreast of customers changing preferences.

“Customers’ expectations are constantly changing and it’s our duty as a customer-centric bank to ensure that our customers are provided with the means to initiate or carry out banking services through any channel they desire wherever they are convenient,” added Mr. Kibaara.

Kenya has been positioned at the top globally in regards to mobile money penetration, according to a report released by Citi Research in August, 2018.

The report also indicated that, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ghana trail Kenya with 40 to 50 percent of mobile money users.

The number of adults using mobile money at over 70 percent in Kenya is higher than the number of adults holding traditional bank accounts at 55 percent. Outside Africa, mobile money usage is also high in China, Chile, Turkey, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, and UAE.

Internet surge in Kenya has been on the rise owing to mobile penetration, noted at 90 percent of the country’s population- with the most used social media platforms being WhatsApp at 74% of the total population

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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