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Challenger Bank Zelf is dipping its toes in the world of messaging apps as it recently announced the launch of a new digital banking software. This software will be compatible with popular messaging platforms — including WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger — and will feature AI voice commands.
Messaging apps are some of the biggest digital platforms in existence, with an estimated 2 billion people connected through them. While they are used primarily for communication, it seems they will become much more prominent in the financial industry moving forward.
This is because Challenger Bank Zelf is launching a new financial service that will work only via popular messaging apps. This new service is expected to hit the market properly by June 2020, though the firm claims that over 58,000 people have already signed up for it.
The service’s primary medium will be popular messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, LINE, Telegram, and WeChat. According to reports, the service will be relatively easy to set up, with customers able to open accounts and begin transactions in about 30 seconds.
This will be done by simply logging into the messaging platform of their choice and sending a message to the Zelf bot, which will request some personal information needed for signup. Once this is provided, the bot will initiate the process.
Besides the ease of registration, the software is also equipped with artificial intelligence-powered voice control that will allow customers to carry out simple tasks such as checking their account balance with a voice command. Customers will also be able to use popular voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri with the software and will also have an easy-to-navigate interface at their disposal.
Should they wish to withdraw funds from ATMs, a know-your-customer requirement must first be completed and this will be available for customers in France and Spain. Elliot Goykhman, the founder and CEO at Zelf, stated that this new venture was taking banking services into one of the most used platforms by Millenials and Gen Zs, which is messaging apps.
It is no secret that young people report high use of mobile devices and are on their way to constituting a large chunk of the workforce. This is not the first time that financial services are being geared towards messaging apps.
Facebook’s developing and controversially received Libra token is designed to be compatible with WhatsApp, a messaging platform owned by the corporation, and applications like CashApp are engineered to enable the seamless sending of funds. Libra is yet to officially launch however, with high profile backers such as Mastercard jumping ship and even the President of Switzerland calling Libra a failure.
The implication of such developments is that the sending and receiving money could be more seamless than ever before. Modern banking applications offer some level of convenience but being able to access one’s banking platform as easily as you would a messaging app is unprecedented.
Will you be embracing this new era of instant banking? What do you think this will mean for the world of banking at large? Let us know in the comments below.
Image courtesy of WhatsApp.