Top banks in India may soon start sending you alerts and communications on WhatsApp, according to a new report by HT. The report further suggests that at least five top banks are already testing or implementing an initial roll-out of WhatsApp-based communications with customers. These banks will use WhatsApp to let you know about point-of-sale transactions and ATM withdrawals, as mandated by the Reserve Bank of India.
The implementation will use WhatsApp’s enterprise communication solutions, which allow large companies to communicate with customers directly using WhatsApp. Customers only need to provide their WhatsApp registered phone number, following which they will be able to link their accounts with the business and receive communications on the platform.
The implementation is already in use by major large-scale businesses including airlines and even video-on-demand platform Netflix, which uses it to communicate with customers about new shows and movies. Banks could similarly use WhatsApp to let customers know when ATM withdrawals or debit and credit card transactions take place. These communications currently happen over SMS, and WhatsApp messages could also be sent in addition to SMS-based communications.
Apart from alerts for transactions, the system could also be used to allow communication with the banks. It would allow text-based interactions that could handle queries and customer service issues. Some of the banks that are reportedly working on this are Kotak Mahindra Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank, and State Bank of India.
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WhatsApp has over 1.2 billion active users all over the world, of which over 200 million are in India alone. Communicating through WhatsApp would thus allow banks to easily reach and have two-way communications with a large user base. Considering the numbers, many of the banks’ customers would likely also be active WhatsApp users, since WhatsApp is by far the most popular web-based instant messaging service in India.