Whatsapp chat banking: Connecting FirstBank’s customers with loved ones

First Bank of Nigeria Limited launched WhatsApp Banking Channels four years ago to enable its customers keep in touch with family and the bank at any time of the day. AMAKA IFEAKANDU looks at the benefits, its impact on the customers and the industry in general.

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion bank, introduced WhatsApp banking channel, FirstBank Chat Banking to enable its customers who are on the messaging platform to stay connected with friend and loved ones. With the FirstBank WhatsApp, customers can stay first not just in chat banking but also keeping in touch with the bank anytime and anywhere.

The WhatsApp banking channel operates  in addition to the bank’s existing channels which include Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), Internet Banking, and Mobile Bank.

The product which was launched in partnership with Clickatell promotes Financial Inclusion in Nigeria, unlocking the opportunity for millions of new consumers to experience an improved way to initiate day-to-day secure banking activities and digital product purchases from within the chat application.

This capability enables FirstBank’s customers to manage their banking needs within their WhatsApp chat with the same efficiency as USSD. 

Customers can add First Bank’s published WhatsApp phone number or direct link access to the First Bank’s “Verified” profile to begin a secure Chat Banking session.

Description

Banking with FirstBank on Whatsapp is secure, reliable and convenient as customers can generate WhatsApp banking PIN and all transaction authentications carried out using a safe link which ensures the security of one’s banking details. During on- boarding, customers need to set up a WhatsApp chat banking pin to securely confirm your transactions.

WhatsApp unlocks an opportunity for brands to offer their customers a more personal, intuitive, and efficient way to engage with them on chat.

Features

The FirstBank Whatsapp banking has diverse functions ranging from onboarding, check balance, send money, pay bills, Airtime purchase to data purchase. It will use to generate customer mini statement

Why customers can’t onboard chat banking

First Bank has   a few reasons customers may not be able to onboard to WhatsApp chat banking.  The reasons include a situation where the card linked to the account has expired, customers providing an account that is not permitted on Whatsapp chat banking, not having an active internet connection or a situation where the WhatsApp profile – the phone number the customer is using is not the same number on which the customers receive SMS notifications

How to get New WhatsApp Chat Banking PIN

Immediately a customer forgot his/her chat banking PIN, there is no need for you to go to the banking hall. The  first step to take is for you to simply reset your PIN by selecting the ‘Settings’ option then select ‘Reset PIN’. You’ll need your debit card linked to your account to reset your PIN


FirstBank’s view

Speaking at the launch of the products, the bank’s Managing Director, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, said as a leading banking services provider, FirstBank is determined to offer satisfactory financial services to customers by devising ways of effectively meeting their needs.

He said “since we have 12.5 million customers with 20 billion worth of transactions monthly, it has become necessary for us to create new technology innovations to meet their needs.

“Our FirstMobile app, Firstonline, FirstMonie and USSD banking are some of the channels we have put in place to make this happen. “FirstBank Chat Banking on WhatsApp is our latest addition. We have gone live with this product, and we are pleased to formally introduce this product to our media partners today.’’

Also, the bank’s Group Head  eBusiness, Chuma Ezirim, said “the WhatsApp channel is the most secure in Nigeria as it provides more security outside the end to end encryption that the Facebook messenger provides.”

He said the “Customers’ expectations are constantly changing and it’s our duty as a customer-focused bank to ensure that our customers are provided with the means to initiate or carry out banking services through any channel they desire.

“We are constantly seeking new ways and opportunities to meet customers at their preferred touch points and we understand our customers are actively engaged on WhatsApp.”

On the authentication process, the head of FirstBank’s Digital Lab, Lola Ekugo, said: “For us, security is key. We have a lot of customers and we cannot afford to compromise on that.

“Aside from the WhatsApp end to end encryption, there is an authentication via a secure browser hosted by FirstBank for on-boarding where you will be required to answer questions, put in your pin, digits from your debit card and also required to create a pin.”

The bank has also started agent banking to target the unbanked, especially those in rural areas with 744 agent locations across Nigeria.

In all, FirstBank assured customers  that banking with them via Whatsapp Chat Banking is totally secured, reliable and convenient. FirstBank chat banking is quick, Smart and fast 

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