ChatBanking, Security, and Cat Videos – What You Need to Know

My Money Matters | Written by  Monique Vrey

17 August 2016

Social media isn’t for banking, right? Wrong! We’ve changed banking and brought you a world-first that lets you take care of your basic transactional banking without neglecting your social media presence – it’s called Absa ChatBanking. A service that lets you do your banking on Facebook and Twitter without having to log out of your favourite social networks? Yes, please!

We spoke to Soo Patterson, Product Owner of ChatBanking on the  Absa Digital Team, and got her to answer some of those burning ChatBanking questions. According to Patterson, this concept can simply be explained as “speed banking for the future-conscious user.”

“ChatBanking is seamlessly integrated into the customer’s social media experience and feels similar to opening up a private chat with a friend. We have built a bot which talks to Facebook Messenger and Twitter through their chat interface and which provides our customers with some of the key functionality they enjoy on the other Absa Digital Banking platforms such as our mobile app.”

So, the first question that probably comes to mind is, how safe is this? We can’t deny that we live in an era where you have to be more cautious with your banking details than ever. That’s exactly why it’s necessary to keep on evolving the way we bank. Patterson notes the following:

  • We’ve taken a lot of care to ensure that ChatBanking is safe. We had lengthy discussions with our compliance and risk team and we came to the conclusion that ChatBanking is one of the most secure channels available
  • It’s important to note that you can only pay existing beneficiaries that have been pre-loaded on your online banking profile – so ChatBanking is ring-fenced to transactions that pose no risk to you. Similarly, you can only buy airtime, data and pre-paid electricity for yourself – thus making the service even safer
  • We have also put in place an additional social media daily payment limit of R4,500 per day for the security of our customers. Anyone picking up your phone and finding you are still logged into social media would not have enough information to defraud you in the same way as picking up a discarded ATM slip would not allow you access to an account holder’s funds or personal information

Now that the most important question has been answered, it’s time to explain exactly how the process works. It’s easy as one, two, and three.

“Before you can use ChatBanking, there is a once-off secure registration where you have to log onto your existing online banking profile, and once we’ve securely verified who you are, you’re able to link your social media profile to ChatBanking.”

Though our other exceptional digital offerings  such as the Absa App and Absa Online Banking allow you to perform a broader range of banking tasks, ChatBanking takes efficiency to a whole new level. When you want to bank on the run, you won’t find a faster way to make a payment or a prepaid purchase than Absa ChatBanking. On average it takes only twenty seconds to successfully make a payment or a prepaid purchase because you don’t have to enter any log-on details beforehand.

“We are looking at the option of expanding this service to other popular social platforms in the future.”

Who knows what the future of banking might hold? But what we do know, is that the future starts now. Happy banking.

Disclaimer: The advice contained on this blog is for general purposes only and does not take into account individual circumstances, objectives or financial needs. Accordingly, readers are advised to seek appropriate advice from licensed professionals prior to making any investment, or taking up a financial product or service.