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Absa debuts social banking on Twitter

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Absa has launched ChatBanking, the first service in Africa which allows users to conduct day-to-day banking from their Twitter account, without interrupting their session on the social media website.
The secure and private service will eventually be rolled out to other social media platforms.
Changes in customer behaviour require that banking has to be available anytime, anywhere, and accessible through multiple channels. In addition, social media has transformed the traditional relationship between business and customers in the same way as it has changed how individuals interact with one another.
“The launch of ChatBanking on Twitter shows our commitment to delight our customers and offer them a smooth digital banking experience – from start to finish, in real time and now also on their favourite social media platform,” says Ashley Veasey, group CIO and chief digital officer at Barclays Africa.
A recent study by global research firm Nielsen showed that Twitter, most often accessed “on the move” and “in the moment”, is an everyday activity for most South Africans. The study found that 61% of local users visit Twitter at least two to five times daily, with the average time spent on social media channels at around two hours and 43 minutes per day.
“To deliver a cool banking experience, we are bringing banking to where our customers spend their time. The service, another first from Absa, allows customers to bank conveniently and efficiently without having to leave Twitter,” says Ashley.
“ChatBanking is as easy as sharing social commentary or political views in 140 characters or less and offers the bank a conversational and fun way of enhancing social engagement with our customers.”
As part of the initial offering Absa customers will be able use ChatBanking to conduct the following transactions:
* Get the actual and available balance on a transactional account.
* Buy airtime or data for the cellphone registered to that account.
* Obtain a mini-statement showing the most recent transactions on the account.
Accessing ChatBanking via Twitter is simple. In a one-time only process users will register in a secure environment which will link their Twitter profile to their Absa bank account.
Personal information is protected as the 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 a Twitter account, they would not be able to abuse the information, the same way that someone who picked up an old ATM slip would not be able to use the information on it,” says Ashley.