WhatsApp for Financial Services: the stronger way to engage and add value

Alessio Zanotto, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Kaleyra, looks at how Financial Services companies can leverage the power of WhatsApp Business Messaging.

Financial services are increasingly turning digital thanks to open banking technology and slicker UIs that enhance the user experience. With this evolution, customers are expecting more from their providers and as new challenger banks continue to appear offering seamless user journeys, it’s important for all financial service institutions – traditional or new – to ensure that they are exceeding these demands to stay competitive.

How? By going beyond the banking app and into continued strong customer engagement offline with WhatsApp Business Messaging.

What is WhatsApp Business Messaging?
The instantly recognisable messaging platform already used by over 2 billion users launched WhatsApp Business Messaging to enable businesses to connect with their end customers in a more personalised, engaging way.

The WhatsApp Business solution uses an enterprise-grade API to connect to a business’ existing messaging solution and other core tools allowing for seamless integration of internal databases. There is no need for an entire infrastructure shift or complex code to be written, instead the solution slots in for easy management and greater data insights on your customers and their banking needs.

WhatsApp Business has the ability to connect thousands of agents and bots to interact with your customers, so when greater levels of empathy, security and human interaction are needed, your team is on hand.

In addition, WhatsApp Business Platform offers different business-side access options via a custom UI or a third-party interface for truly frictionless internal communications that enable higher productivity.

Benefits of WhatsApp Business for financial services Encryption and verification
To the vast majority of the public, their money, who holds it and how its managed is integral to their feeling of security. Particularly as the economy continues to remain precarious, consumers need reassurances that their chosen financial institutions are prioritising the security of their data and finances on an ongoing basis.

While regulations are in place, customers place greater value on the everyday interactions with their banks for security, which is why using WhatsApp brings in a further dimension of trust – customers don’t perceive it as a spam channel because of its end-to-end encryption. Adding it to your omnichannel strategy reinforces your position that your financial institution takes security seriously and can actively demonstrate that.

Lastly, the significant difference and ultimate distinguishing feature between WhatsApp for Business and the typical SMS is that the former indicates verified and connected accounts with a blue tick. Phishing and other scams are still rife when it comes to payments because of untraceable phone numbers and email addresses but this concern can be almost entirely eradicated with the use of WhatsApp Business Messaging without compromise on engagement or support.

Personalised UX
WhatsApp Business opens up the financial services sector’s ability to extend their personalised user experiences starting right from initial sign-up helping reputation, loyalty and the bottom line.
Consistently personalising the user journey and experience increases customer engagement as interactions are made according to their needs and plans at that particular moment in their day. The traditional banking customer interaction is commonly viewed as a task that requires scheduling due to its inflexible nature (i.e., a phone call and several lengthy security checks and waiting times), however WhatsApp Business transforms this as the channel already associated with being an always-on, agile way to communicate. In addition, the business platform allows for different ways to engage and uses intelligence for flexibility and efficiency.

In addition, the WhatsApp for Business platform uses data from existing systems alongside its own findings when in use to create a fuller picture of each customer, their preferences and behaviours. The more data, the more insight and understanding into what works and what doesn’t for each customer, which ultimately means better customer service and loyalty in return.

Conversations for better relationships
The WhatsApp Business solution gives financial services the ability to be more proactive in their customer research, transactions and support without heavy formality or stiff, detached tones.
As a platform, WhatsApp is already known as a conversational realm for easy, approachable and efficient communication; for the financial sector, this can help to break down any barriers with their customers, so the relationship feels more like an ongoing partnership.

This can entirely change the way products are presented to and adopted by customers. For example, an account update, like an interest rate change, can lead to an exploration of other products that might serve them better in light of the news. Any upsell or cross-sell remains in context and your business shows to be proactive in serving the customer according to their individual circumstance.

To add to this, customers can respond on WhatsApp as they would on the phone with a human agent. There is no longer limited multiple choice answers but an intelligence that can understand messages sent back to the business helping to optimise the process.

WhatsApp use cases for financial services
We’ve discussed what WhatsApp Business Messaging is and the benefits, but what does this look like in practice for the financial services sector? Here we show three examples of conversational flows that not only enhance customer engagement and support but business objectives specific to the industry.

Credit card special promotions
While credit cards often offer bonus points or promotions when used at specific stores, customers aren’t always aware and so don’t add them to their account to reap the benefits. Here, with the smart integration of existing platforms, a message can be sent to the customer to alert them of a store-specific offer with the option for simple opt-in to add to account.

Transaction updates
Keeping on top of transactions can be difficult and can easily lead to ongoing fraudulent activity. WhatsApp for Business provides the option for automated transaction updates (deposits, transactions and withdrawals) and an easy button option to either look into this further or dismiss the prompt, if its already known.

Missed payment
Getting into the red is a stressful situation for anyone, especially if it goes unknown and arrears increase. With WhatsApp Business Messaging, late payment alerts can be set up from a verified account with semi-masked details of the payment and account itself, so your customer not only is made aware but is confident it’s coming from the right source.
From here, a button option can be utilised but if the options don’t apply, the customer can simply reply in the chat to rectify the issue.

Encouraging engagement, trust and loyalty through Business Messaging
WhatsApp Business Messaging is the next step in bringing financial services into line with today’s customer expectations. The platform’s clever utilisation of verified accounts and personalised UX means that customers feel greater security and more valued by their chosen financial provider as transparency and flexibility are supported. In addition, the already popular messaging platform is enhanced for businesses as alerts and offers are delivered with easy button options to automate next steps – be it whether they wish to progress or to opt out entirely.

Together, the many thoughtful and extremely user-focused WhatsApp Business Messaging features will encourage loyalty and set new standards in an ultra-competitive financial services market.

To learn more about how WhatsApp can be used for customer engagement, contact us at marketing@kaleyra.com today!