New Delhi: WhatsApp is mostly used by people as a social media platform where they can chat, share photos, videos, voice notes and more with friends and relatives. However, you can now use WhatsApp to reach out to your banks for basic queries. In fact, you can avail services like account balance check, cheque book request, mini statement, debit card eligibility check etc through WhatsApp. Your requests are addressed on a real-time basis which means there is no delay.
Several banks including Kotak Mahindra Bank, Saraswat Bank, HDFC Bank, AU Small Finance Bank, etc. now offer WhatsApp banking services to help their customers receive updates and avail services via the app. In order to avail WhatsApp banking services, you first need to give a missed call to the number provided by the bank on its website.
Note that this number will be different from the phone banking number of the bank. To avail WhatsApp banking service, it is mandatory to give a missed call from the mobile number registered with the bank. By giving a missed call, you basically provide your consent to the bank for using this service.
Once you are done giving a missed call, you will receive a welcome text message from the bank’s WhatsApp number. You must save this WhatsApp number of the bank in your contact list to proceed further. In order to initiate a chat through WhatsApp for any banking service, you will have to type ‘Hi’ and send.
When your ‘Hi’ message is delivered, you will get a response like “Hi, welcome to XYZ Bank WhatsApp Banking!’ Get started right away by typing your query eg; SHow me my credit card reward points or choose the option for the desired service.” Further, as per the on-screen instruction, you may type ‘1’ or ‘2’ and so on as per your requirement
It may be noted that after availing WhatsApp banking services, you will receive alert messages, notifications from your bank through WhatsApp instead of getting them as SMS. You can chat with your bank to get details of your cards, fixed deposits, put forward requests for mini statement, pre-approved loans, etc.
For example, if you want to know the outstanding balance or reward points on your credit card, then you can just type a phrase “credit card outstanding” or “credit card reward points” followed by the last four digits of your credit card. Similarly, if you have an FD and wish to know the details of your investment, then you can send “Show my FD summary.” You will get a message with details such as the principal, rate of interest and maturity date of your all fixed deposits with the bank. The phrases to be used vary from bank to bank. You can easily find these phrases from your bank’s website.
Banks do not charge anything for availing WhatsApp banking services. This means that you can avail this service free of cost. WhatsApp service is provided by the bank to resolve queries from customers in real-time. It is worth mentioning that WhatsApp banking is safe because all messages between you and the bank are secured with end-to-end encryption.
Also, your account information is not shared with any person. You do not need to enter any confidential information such as PIN or password while messaging on WhatsApp because it does not offer transaction facilities. However, in case your mobile gets lost, fraudsters can get access to your banking data/information on WhatsApp which can lead to identity theft. If you are in such a situation, you should notify your bank immediately as soon as you observe any suspicious activity in your account.
In case of loss of the mobile device, you should immediately deactivate your WhatsApp account by sending an email with a phrase “Lost/Stolen: Please deactivate my account” in the body and subject of the email to email@example.com. You need to include your phone number in the body. The phone number should be in international format.
For example, if your registered mobile number in India is 9876543210, you need to enter your mobile number as +919876543210 in the email. This way, your WhatsApp account will be deactivated immediately and a thief can’t misuse the WhatsApp banking service to defraud you.
Users must know that you can’t deactivate your WhatsApp banking service using net banking, branch visit, phone banking facility of the bank. First, you need to apply for another SIM card from your mobile operator. Then, you have to register for WhatsApp from another mobile handset. Once you do that, automatically, the previous WhatsApp account from the lost mobile handset will get deactivated.