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Absa launches ChatWallet for mobile banking via WhatsApp

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 08 Feb 2024
Absa launches ChatWallet for banking on WhatsApp.
Absa launches ChatWallet for banking on WhatsApp.

Big-four bank, Absa has launched a WhatsApp-enabled wallet called ChatWallet, designed to provide users with banking services directly through the messaging platform.

According to a statement, ChatWallet is part of the bank’s commitment to transforming financial accessibility and inclusion by offering a secure and user-friendly way to manage finances without the necessity of an existing bank account.

Some of the key features of ChatWallet include the ability to receive money directly into the ChatWallet (up to R25 000), make payments, buy electricity, airtime and data and be able to withdraw money.

Users also have access to free ATM deposits; free day-to-day banking with zero monthly fees, one free Cashsend per month. There is also an option to upgrade from ChatWallet into a transactional account allowing users to join Absa Rewards for free.

Nick Nkosi, managing executive of transactional banking at Absa Everyday Banking, says ChatWallet eliminates the need for a traditional bank account.

“This platform not only simplifies transactions but opens doors to a broader spectrum of banking services. The menu's standout feature allows a smooth transition to a transactional bank account, unlocking the full potential of digital banking services for all,” added Nkosi.

To send and receive money on the ChatWallet, users access the send money feature on the menu, punch in their cellphone number to receive money directly into their ChatWallet.

To make payments, they access the send money option via the menu, use the cellphone number or bank account details of the receiver to send the money. The money is deducted directly from the recipient’s ChatWallet

Absa, which already has a ChatBanking offering on Facebook and WhatsApp, claims to be the only major South African bank offering full banking services directly integrated with WhatsApp.

Standard Bank enables basic services, including balance checks and card management via the messaging platform, while First National Bank provides a WhatsApp banking assistant for tasks such as sending money requests and viewing account balances. Nedbank and Capitec primarily use WhatsApp for customer support and chatbot-based queries.

Subash Sharma, chief digital officer at Absa Everyday Banking, adds: “Our vision and purpose as a bank is rooted in empowering our customers by enhancing access to banking services digitally. We are not only affirming our commitment to improved access to digital payments but also strengthening financial inclusion as envisaged in the South African Reserve Bank’s Vision 2025 statement.”

To access ChatWallet, users must be over 18, possess a valid Rica'd SA 10-digit cellphone number linked to WhatsApp, and own a smartphone with a camera for biometric registration.