I&M Bank will be the second lender to implement WhatsApp banking, following Absa Bank. This is as the sector moves away from physical locations.
Customers will be able to use WhatsApp to conduct mobile money transactions, inter-account money transfers, bill payments, and balance inquiries, among other critical transactions.
I&M Bank’s head of digital, Michael Mwangi noted that this product is being tested, and they are learning from their regional subsidiaries. In a few months, they will be launching in Kenya.
WhatsApp banking is already available at the bank’s Rwandan, Ugandan, Tanzanian, and Mauritian divisions.
He went on to say that they plan to incorporate the Swahili version into WhatsApp banking in order to appeal to the majority of their consumers.
WhatsApp banking is gaining traction in Africa as Internet and smartphone usage rises, particularly in Kenya and Nigeria.
In Kenya, most banks have transferred at least 80% of their transactions to digital platforms, providing clients with greater ease.
According to the Global Web Index’s 2020 Social Media User Trends Report, Kenya has the largest percentage of monthly WhatsApp users in the world with over 97 percent of all internet users in the country using WhatsApp.
Absa Bank was the first bank in the country to launch WhatsApp Banking in August 2021.
Since becoming digital, I&M has witnessed a 300 percent rise in customer adoption, as well as a 150 percent increase in transaction volume over the previous year.