Absa has just introduced a surprising new way to conduct online banking through what it calls ChatBanking on Twitter.

ChatBanking will allow you to conduct day-to-day banking actions without interrupting your current session on Twitter.

“Changes in customer behaviour require that banking has to be available anytime, anywhere, and accessible through multiple channels,” the bank said in a statement. “In addition, social media has transformed the traditional relationship between business and customers in the same way as it has changed how individuals interact with one another.”

Absa has assured customers that ChatBanking is secure and private as your personal information is protected and your account number and personal details will never be displayed in a chat.

According to the bank, even if your mobile is stolen or someone gains access to your Twitter account, they won’t be able to access and use the information, much in the same way that someone who picked up your old ATM slip would not be able to use the information on it.

Other actions you’ll be able to perform on the service include buying airtime or data for the cellphone registered to your account and obtaining a mini-statement of your most recent transactions.

Accessing ChatBanking is done via the following steps:

  • Logon to  Absa Online from www.absa.co.za
  • Go to the “Express” tab and click on “Settings”
  • Click on “Manage ChatBanking”
  • Click on “Add Profile”

“Once you have added your profile via Express on Absa Online and followed @AbsaChatBanking, all you have to do is send a private message to @AbsaChatBanking from Twitter to get going, then simply say “hi” to get started,” explained Ashley Veasey, Group Chief Information Officer and Chief Digital Officer at Barclays Africa.

“You are only able to purchase airtime and data for yourself, so even if someone took control of your Twitter account, they would not be able to change the information to purchase airtime or data for themselves,”Veasey added.

Absa said ChatBanking would also be coming to other social media sites.

This is not the first time banking in South Africa has adopted social media as a banking tool, Standard Bank kicked things off when it introduced its Prestige and Private customer banking service on WeChat last year.

[Image –  CC by 2.0/kopp0041]