India’s AU Small Finance Bank is rolling out an integration with WhatsApp, allowing small business customers to open an account on the messaging app.
Reports in Economic Times of India on Wednesday (Aug. 7) said Karix Mobile is powering the integration with WhatsApp Business that enables AU Bank to open new Savings Bank Accounts directly from the messaging platform. The process involves a chat-like experience on WhatsApp to onboard new customers, with support for two-way conversations.
“WhatsApp has become a part of the day-to-day life of people all over the world in a very short span,” said AU Small Finance Bank MD and CEO Sanjay Agarwal in a statement. “It offers a host of features through its user-friendly interface. Considering the huge impact it has created in people’s lives, we at AU Bank decided to use this platform for people to engage with our potential audience. While it is an important step in our mission to simplify banking through digital solutions, we are optimistic this will enhance the way people see banking in India.”
AU Bank noted that it plans to roll out additional features on WhatsApp.
In another statement, Karix Mobile Chief Operating Officer Deepak Goyal noted that integrating banking services with a messaging service is complex considering the back-end connections that must be achieved between platforms. However, AU Small Finance Bank Executive Director Uttam Tibrewal added that those integrations are key to a better end-user experience.
The Economic Times of India noted Wednesday in separate reports that Temasek is reportedly set to increase its ownership in AU Small Finance Bank by the end of the year. The bank is reportedly expected to increase the number of physical branches open in India from 425 to 600 in the coming two-and-a-half years, while it also plans to expand further in the country to reach a wider portion of under-banked customers.
WhatsApp, meanwhile, is strengthening its presence in India’s financial services space in other ways.