Kotak Bank and ICICI planned to include banking on WhatsApp

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Kotak Bank has said that it will be the first to pilot WhatsApp’s enterprise solution to customers. ICICI Bank, too, has said that it is testing the messaging platform’s enterprise solution to engage with customers, but has not yet announced a launch date.

Unlike text messages that are one-way communication from the bank, customers can interact with Kotak Bank on its verified WhatsApp number for information on service requests such as updating PAN, mobile number, email ID, Aadhaar number, activating/deactivating passbook, cancelling mandates for standing payments and changing their home branch.

ICICI Bank is currently piloting WhatsApp within a closed user group and plans to launch the service for customers within four weeks. Soon, customers will have the option to receive their alerts within WhatsApp, which can then be archived.

Online movie ticketing website BookMyShow has been one of the early adopters of WhatsApp’s enterprise platform. Kotak Mahindra Bank chief digital officer Deepak Sharma said, “The familiarity and simplicity of the platform makes it easy for customers to interact with their bank and get answers to queries in a seamless and convenient manner.”

Kotak’s ‘811’ digital account customers can receive their welcome kits on the verified WhatsApp number. However, as a measure of safety, Kotak will not divulge personal or sensitive data on chat. Customers can discontinue communication on WhatsApp at any point of time. According to IT experts, using WhatsApp for two-way communication also benefits the bank as analysis of the chats will provide the lenders with better insights into their customers.

Banks are using WhatsApp at a time when the Facebook-owned company itself is getting into the payments business. WhatsApp is running the beta version of its payments application and will soon launch it nationally in partnership with HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank for processing payments under the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform.

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