THE most recent report from the GSM Association (GSMA), the trade body that represents the interests of mobile network operators worldwide, reveals that sub-Saharan Africa has 444 million mobile subscribers, making up nearly nine percent of all global mobile subscriptions. Around a third of these mobile users – 250 million people – own a smartphone.
WhatsApp is by far the world’s most popular messaging platform, with over 1.5 billion active users. This Facebook-owned service is one that businesses can’t ignore as a potential connection point to customers to revolutionise their user experience.
In today’s omnichannel world of texts, chats, posts, and tweets, consumers increasingly want to interact with businesses the same way they connect with their family and friends. Being immediate, more personal and international in reach, WhatsApp Business has the opportunity to connect with current and potential customers exactly where they already are while also being accessible to customers with the most basic technological knowledge.
Through WhatsApp Business, companies can send shipping alerts, order notifications, product demonstration videos, verification codes, and appointment reminders, as well as enable sales and support teams to answer product or customer service questions. They are able to do so with rich, contextual messages that will ultimately facilitate a new transaction or keep a current customer happy.
These engagements are secured by the end-to-end encryption that makes WhatsApp so trusted, which means that customers can rest assured that all transactions are secure.
Innovative companies like Hello Paisa – known for their international money transfer services and most recently, their digital banking solution – are upping the ante on conversational commerce by enabling consumers to use WhatsApp as a simple means to send money and transact. Hello Paisa digital banking, powered by South Africa’s Sasfin Bank Limited, has created a seamless WhatsApp experience that ensures that consumers can transact as conveniently as texting a friend. Using WhatsApp also makes transacting even cheaper for customers, as WhatsApp data bundles often work out cheaper than normal data bundles.
According to Moosa Manjra, CEO of Hello Paisa, this is the company’s latest demonstration of how they keep their customers at the centre of what they do. ‘Our customers already use WhatsApp to keep in touch with family and friends in other countries, and we thought, why not make it easier to send money to these relatives while saving them money, too? Through WhatsApp, consumers will be able to create a transaction, request a call-me-back or speak to an agent, in order to make their banking experience seamless.’
The WhatsApp Business API allows companies to create entirely new customer-centric experiences at their user’s fingertips, and the potential is unparalleled for companies who are bold and agile enough to seize the opportunity.