BANKING TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

See how this bank bot chats with customers via Telegram, Facebook, and WeChat

The service is based on WAY4 Messenger Banking.

B1NK, a digital only bank for new generation in Kazakhstan, is now chatting with customers via Telegram. This is the first bank bot in the region where customers can send money to friends, manage their cards and keep up-to-date on B1NK promotional offers – all via a popular messenger service.

Friendly chat bot B1NK (@b1nkbot) speaks three languages – Kazakh, English, and Russian. It answers user’s questions about ATM and branch locations, currency exchange rates, and even how bots spend their free time. Users can also request a call-back via the @b1nkbot.

"Today only a couple of tier-2 banks in Kazakhstan offer mobile banking services. There’s definite potential for growth in this area, because people in Kazakhstan are tech-savvy and ready to embrace technological innovations. B1NK’s aim is to simplify banking, and to make finance management more convenient," says Gani Uzbekov, CEO, Capital Bank Capital Bank Kazakhstan (B1NK).

For a demo video, please click here.

How does the @b1nkbot work?
For customers, messenger banking means they have an always-on digital finance assistant. After they sign in, @b1nkbot can show them their transaction history and card balances, help them to block cards, set card transaction limits, and even to make mobile money transfers to friends. To send money, the user simply chooses the contact and specifies the transfer amount — no other information is required. The recipient receives a message confirming the transfer and is asked to choose a convenient way to receive the money (for example, transfer to a card or to a mobile phone account).

The service is based on WAY4 Messenger Banking, an innovative white-label solution which facilitates customer service via messenger applications. The solution is developed by OpenWay, a recognised leader in software for bankcard issuing and acquiring, payment switching, digital banking and omni-channel. The solution supports customer service via all popular messengers, including Facebook messenger, Viber, WeChat, Telegram and Line. It can be integrated with any card processing system.

What spurred the launch of this initiative that uses messengers?
Messengers are friendly environments. Banks are beginning to realise the potential of interacting with customers in a new way, in the customer's language, using a familiar chat format. Banks are always available to their customers, irrespective of their location and device.

Messenger banking is an automated alternative to more expensive SMS channels and supplements the service from call centres. Additional features, such as p2p money transfer and interactive photo, video and audio content, can also be used to attract new customers. According to statistics, messengers are an extremely popular communication channel for those aged 16-44. 

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