Chatbots and conversational marketing kicked off as nothing but hype in most industries. However, today, the trend earns a space among the top most effective business growth strategies, banking, and finance notwithstanding. Allied Market Research reported that the global AI in the banking market generated $3.88B in 2020 and is predicted to reach $64.03B by 2030, with chatbots being one of the top solutions.
While automated conversations make up the core of this approach, messaging apps like WhatsApp are the unstoppable driver behind the growing adoption. More and more global banks, as well as local financial institutions, leverage WhatsApp, to attract not only customers but also to improve the customer experience overall.
Given the growing significance of automated conversations in this sector, this article offers a deeper insight into WhatsApp banking, the "whys" and "hows," the benefits as well as the most effective ways to use WhatsApp in finance.
What is WhatsApp Banking?
WhatsApp banking enables banks and financial institutions to serve and interact with their customers on the WhatsApp messaging app, either by offering live chat or automated service in the form of a WhatsApp bot in a comfortable and familiar environment.
The chatbot may be powered by artificial intelligence (NLP) or rely on a rule-based conversation structure. It's designed to offer support or services over chat and is leveraged anywhere from generating leads to gathering feedback.
Why does WhatsApp Banking Matter Now more than Ever?
Banking and FinTech are one of the most competitive industries, where consumers complaining about the lack of accessibility, decent customer support, speed, and resources are a daily occurrence.
WhatsApp banking addresses the key challenges plaguing banks and financial institutions:
- Customer retention;
- The growing cost of customer acquisition;
- The growing culture of instant gratification and 24/7 connectivity;
- An increasing number of competitors in the form of new FinTechs and digital banks.
In this sense, WhatsApp automation is a real game-changer as the channel enables quick and easy interaction with your prospective and existing customers on an app that is already part of their daily routine—all that without the financial strain of creating bespoke platforms.
A few years back, banking used to be apart from the rest of the industries, cozy in its little bubble. However, today, it's under the same scrutiny customers direct towards any other eCommerce or brand on the market. Services like Amazon have set the bar of customer service and interaction high, and no industry is safe from the growing expectations.
Every business, large or small, faces the same pressures of delivering speed, convenience, and personalization every moment of every day.
WhatsApp is a go-to solution not only because it's the most popular messaging app on the market with over 2 billion monthly active users but also because it's the market leader for rich conversational experiences and business communication.
How does WhatsApp Banking Work?
WhatsApp banking is enabled via WhatsApp Business API, which allows businesses to connect their systems and services with the messaging tool.
Using the API, banks and financial institutions can either develop their own automated system from scratch, use a no-code WhatsApp API solution to speed up the process, or hire an agency to build the solution for them.
Benefits of WhatsApp Banking Services
Simply put, using WhatsApp in banking helps institutions deliver a fantastic customer experience at scale. It enables you to keep things simple, timely, personalized, and consistent. Though, that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Reach & Scalability
Bringing communication and services to WhatsApp enables companies to take full advantage of the massive reach the messaging app in question enjoys. It facilitates seamless scaling as your business and messaging needs grow.
Finances are a sensitive topic requiring the highest levels of security. WhatsApp communication already comes with end-to-end encryption. Only the financial institution and the customer in question can read and access what's shared. Nobody in between, not even WhatsApp, can read business communication. Plus, if needed, additional security protocols can be easily added to the automated script to protect other actions such as payments and transactions.
WhatsApp banking allows you to increase efficiency by automation routine tasks and questions, so your human agents are free to devote time and energy to issues and tasks that require human attention.
Decreased Customer Acquisition Costs
The benefits of WhatsApp banking go beyond post-purchase support. In fact, one of the primary and most effective use cases WhatsApp offers is in the sales stage.
Better Customer Experience
Customer expectations are higher from year to year as consumers expect the same attention from all businesses, whether they are dealing with their favorite retail brand or a bank. In fact, it's so essential that banks that do invest in optimizing customer experience are reported to grow 3.2x faster than their competitors.
WhatsApp business automation can help you do just that!
Increased Customer Loyalty & Reduced Churn
In this time and age, it's cheaper to retain customers than to acquire new ones. According to HBR, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.
WhatsApp automation, thanks to the continuity of the channel, has a strong potential to decrease the time to resolution. For instance, Plum, an employee benefits platform that provides group medical insurance for companies managed to cut their resolution time by 60%:
This is important because, as Kolsky reports, an impressive 67% of customer churn is easily preventable if the customer issue is resolved at the first engagement. Other 11% can be prevented by simple company outreach.
The use of WhatsApp banking via WhatsApp Business API makes innovation easier and more accessible. Instead of pouring a huge amount of time and resources into building tech products from scratch, financial institutions can streamline the process with third-party no-code providers.
According to the Conversational Banking report by Accenture, conversational banking, in general, has the potential to accelerate revenue growth by 25% while reducing costs by up to 30%.
Top WhatsApp Banking Use Cases
There's no doubt WhatsApp can be a valuable addition to your service. In this section, we will look at all the possible ways you can leverage this solution throughout the customer journey and lifecycle.
1. Lead Generation Process
WhatsApp is an easy way to generate high-quality leads. Adding a simple click-to-WhatsApp feature on your ads or offering an opt-in on your website enables you to collect customer data.
As soon as the lead opts in to learn more about your service, you gain their name, phone number, and access to a communication channel that consumers do not find cumbersome or annoying. Familiarity with WhatsApp also helps to build trust.
2. Lead Following Up and Qualification
After collecting contact details, you can seamlessly move on to the qualification or persuasion stage. A simple message and a short conversation with a WhatsApp bot can help boost your conversion rates substantially. For instance, our sales team used WhatsApp automation for their outreach campaign earning a 90% open rate, 25% engagement, and less than 4 hours response time, as opposed to the email results witch, which hovered over 25% open rate, 5% engagement, and a response time over 24 hours.
3. Onboarding Customers
New customers often need time and assistance to understand service and be able to take full advantage of it. A WhatsApp assistant for banking can be used to strike up a conversation with new customers and guide them through the onboarding process at their own pace.
4. Document Upload
A huge part of onboarding in finance requires document upload and validation. It's not uncommon for customers to drop off at this stage because the process is either too slow and cumbersome or because they get interrupted. WhatsApp can provide users with both familiarity and continuity.
Most people feel at home with the WhatsApp interface, so uploading and sharing documentation is not an issue. Plus, if the process is interrupted, the conversation stays put, and they can pick up where they left off when it's convenient for them.
5. Account Services & Management
WhatsApp chatbots for banking and finance can help your customers manage their accounts and facilitate requests such as account balance checks, credit card status, due payments, or transaction history with just a couple of clicks.
This bot can be stand-alone feature or part of a more holistic banking assistant.
6. Payments and Transfers
Cash is becoming less and less present in daily transactions, and so most people need a quick way to send and receive funds on the go. WhatsApp banking chatbot can easily enable hassle-free transfers between peers or individuals and businesses. By making their account accessible via WhatsApp, paying bills and issuing transaction confirmations is more convenient, faster, and easier to remember.
7. Personalized Financial Advice
WhatsApp assistant is also a great way to offer customers concise and personalized financial advice whenever and wherever they are.
Institutions can use personal information such as transaction history to analyze spending behavior and offer customized saving insights and calculations, improving customers' financial management skills on the go.
8. Answering Frequently Asked Questions
Most banks and financial institutions offer a wide range of products and services, from checking to savings accounts to loans and discounts. Such information overload is often hard to make sense of. A WhatsApp bot can help your customers receive answers to common questions and queries about interest rates, loan opportunities, credit limits, special offers, eligibility, branch or ATM locations, and more.
This not only serves to resolve queries faster but also frees your human agents from tedious, repetitive tasks so they can focus their attention on cases and queries that genuinely require assistance.
9. Send Updates & Reminders
Since the majority of users check WhatsApp on a daily basis, spending almost half an hour every day interacting with the app, it's an excellent channel for sending essential notifications.
You can use WhatsApp banking to share news about new services and opportunities and send reminders about automatic payments or outstanding invoices.
10. Customer Feedback
Feedback is the holy grail of every business that wishes to grow and prosper. However, obtaining it is no easy feat. Most consumers forget about one once they have what they need. Once again, WhatsApp comes to the rescue.
The fact that users that have WhatsApp use it frequently and that replying to any message hardly takes more than a few seconds increases your chances of customers responding to your feedback requests or surveys. This, in turn, offers you insight into improving your services.
To Wrap Things Up
WhatsApp is becoming one of the top business communication channels across all industries. Banking and financial services are no exception.
The accessibility and cost-effectiveness of the solution enable financial institutions of all shapes and sizes to modernize their communications and keep up with the growing demands of modern consumers.
Case studies show that the success of WhatsApp conversational solutions is not an anomaly but a recurring and repeatable phenomenon that can be crucial to growing a business.
Are you interested? Check out what Landbot's WhatsApp solution can do for you!