Business Insider Edition

You can turn your teller into a pirate, and other cool hacks on Absa’s new WhatsApp banking

Timothy Rangongo , Business Insider SA
 Aug 01, 2018, 06:41 PM
  • Absa has launched ChatBanking, which allows users to conduct transactions using WhatsApp.
  • The platform allows customers to buy data and pay beneficiaries.
  • It also lets you generate a credit report – and talk to a pirate.

Absa officially rolled out ChatBanking on WhatsApp, and in early testing we found it simple to use, and reliable.

Here's how you can do your banking on WhatsApp with Absa – and some cool extras.

Registration and activation: just say "hi".

You need an Absa bank account, and the Absa banking app installed on your smartphone. Then simply add Absa (08600 08600) as a WhatsApp contact. 


Say "hi", and you will receive prompts.


After being routed back to the Absa banking app for verification and authentication, you will be good to go to bank via WhatsApp.

Making payments via WhatsApp.

You can pay beneficiaries via WhatsApp – but you need to have paid them twice before, either using online banking or the Absa banking app.

To pay e.g. your mother, simply type "Pay Mom R200" or the beneficiary's name, then type "Yes" to confirm or "change" to tweak payment details.



Buying data via WhatsApp.

Buying data is seriously fast. If for instance, you were a Vodacom customer and wanted to buy R63 data,  all you need to do is message "Buy Vodacom data R63" and a split second later, with no further questions asked, you'll have data worth the exact amount.

Get your credit report via WhatsApp.

All you have to do to generate your credit report from TransUnion is type "Show me my credit report".

(Photo: Timothy Rangongo/Business Insider SA)

A summary of the credit report will then be given, with links to the full report and a barometer indicating credit status.

(Photo: Timothy Rangongo/Business Insider SA)

Turning the ChatBanking teller into a pirate.

A fun hack with Absa's ChatBanking is changing the language from normal English to Pirate English. All you have to do is type the word "Pirate" and it changes the entire menu to a pirate dialect. 

"The reason we added this feature is that we've never seen a bank with the product language translated into pirate. The whole point is to show that we have the capability to translate the messaging system into several languages," says Absa ChatBanking's product owner, Suzanne Patterson.

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