Infobip, a global cloud communications platform that enables businesses to build connected customer experiences across all stages of the customer journey at scale, together with enterprise technology company Blue Turtle Technologies, has successfully completed the rollout of a WhatsApp-based chat banking platform at one of South Africa’s big four banks.
The platform has been rolled out across nine African countries. It will ultimately improve and enrich customer engagement and improve cost efficiencies for the financial institution, as well as streamlining the onboarding of clients
Introducing the conversational artificial intelligence (AI) component over WhatsApp Business API chat app enables customers to seamlessly interact with a chatbot over a messaging channel that they know and trust. The chatbot can provide information about product queries and respond to frequently asked questions (FAQs), among others.
Chatbots allow organisations to adopt an AI-first approach to more menial and mundane tasks, providing customers with self-service capabilities, while freeing up call centre agents. That way call centre agents can devote more time to strategic initiatives and deal with problems that create more value add.
Shaun van Rooyen, strategic accounts and partnerships manager for Africa at Infobip, says there was a great degree of synergy between Infobip and Blue Turtle, which contributed to the successful completion of the chat banking project.
“The capabilities of both partners involved in this project complemented each other tremendously. While we had a great communication platform, we realised that we had to work with a partner. On the other hand, Blue Turtle could do the complex integration that was required for the project and had years of experience working with financial institutions.”
Van Rooyen says teaming up with Blue Turtle played neatly into Infobip’s strategy to take WhatsApp Business API into the large enterprise market via partners that have the expertise and skills to deliver Infobip’s services into those organisations.
Blue Turtle’s decision to choose Infobip as a partner for the project was largely driven by the fact that the company’s WhatsApp Business API offering is the best of breed API wrapper available, as well as a huge cost differentiator.
“They have a global and local footprint, which means they understand our market and what it’s like to do business here. Partnering with Infobip enabled us to offer chat banking over the most ubiquitous communication channel we have – WhatsApp,” says Byron Wolff, product manager: digital at Blue Turtle.
Wolff adds that the bank is taking a phased approach to rolling out services on the platform, at first only offering conversational AI over the WhatsApp chat app.
“This is highly transformative technology and significantly changes the way people interact with their financial service provider. It’s about trust; if you open a channel that offers transactional banking over a chatbot, specifically over an instant message app such as WhatsApp, your customers might be hesitant or reject the technology completely due to privacy and security concerns,” he says.
Wolff says that as soon as the financial institution links the chatbot with advanced natural language processing to its core banking system, it will switch on many new features.
“This will allow customers to do many more things, such as full banking transactions using natural language.”