South African consumers may soon be able to pay bills, make online purchases and receive flight booking passes through WhatsApp, says Desmond Kurz, marketing director at Clickatell.
WhatsApp recently released code which made paying bills and making online purchases via the social media platform possible.
Clickatell is one of a few global service providers who has gained early access to WhatsApp’s business code. The company was founded in South Africa in 2000, and has since moved its head office to California.
It recently partnered with Absa to launch South Africa’s first WhatsApp banking platform, ChatBanking.
Kurz expects WhatsApp's new business abilities will disrupt commerce in South Africa.
"Customers naturally gravitate towards businesses offering them convenient, simpler and quick ways to get what they need," Kurz told Business Insider South Africa. "And this gives the businesses an edge over the competition."
Kurz said the new WhatsApp changes allow for the following services via the platform:
Business will use WhatsApp to communicate with customers - either through automatic responses or service consultants.
Kurz says WhatsApp has secure end-to-end messaging encryption which makes the risk of using the service to conduct bank transactions minimal.
“This is the one reason banks are particularly keen to have a presence on the channel," he says.
Clickatell is also rolling out WhatsApp banking services in Nigeria with First Bank of Nigeria, GTBank and United Bank of Africa.
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