Firstly, I should highlight that I write this post purely as a tech enthusiast and a customer of Fidelity bank.
Fidelity Bank has chalked up another win! The Fidelity banking team have taken a step forward by adding WhatsApp to their bouquet of services. Going forward, you can too conduct your Fidelity Bank transactions straight from your WhatsApp account.
Courtesy of the incredible, hard working and innovative team over at Fidelity Bank, you can initiate secure and private transactions over your mobile phone through USSD, online banking, the mobile app and now on WhatsApp as well.
What I like about Fidelity Bank
Why does does Fidelity Bank appeal to me and others as well
I have been banking with Fidelity Bank Ghana for at least 8 years now. Here are a few reasons I still like Fidelity Bank.
Fidelity Bank keeps improving
Just like old wine they have only gotten better with age. They keep enjoying success after success which lets me, and other customers know that we are in safe hands.
This does not even take into account the numerous banking awards they have accumulated over the years.
Fidelity Bank lives the orange ideals
Orange is a color which portrays youthfulness, energy, and charisma. Thus, Fidelity bank have kept their ears to the ground and seem to know what their customers are interested in.
Consequently, they follow up and release this into the market with speed.
Persevering in a tough industry
Despite the challenges banks in Ghana faced over the recent months, and especially the indigenous banks, Julian and team have made it a priority to remain relevant by pushing forward innovative and convenient products that customers can enjoy.
This includes everything from their investment packages, the retail, corporate packages all the way to the loan packages for the medical association. Fidelity bank indeed seems to be the place for all potential customer and different professionals from all walks of life.
Is a WhatsApp banking assistant necessary?
In a year or less most financial institutions would have a WhatsApp solution in one form or another
Someone might ask the question. Is doing your banking transactions over WhatsApp even necessary?
I for one believe a Kukuaa is long overdue. It is an entirely a prudent move Fidelity bank have taken.
In a year or less, all banks, and indeed a lot of players within the finance space will have implemented WhatsApp driven customer facing solutions. Customer facing solutions like these are necessary to bridge the gap between the customers’ needs and what the organization can offer.
Using WhatsApp has the following advantages
- It is already pre-installed on most phones
- It is widely known
- It is easy to use
- WhatsApp has approximately 2 billion users
What are we in business for if not to make the customers problems ours as well? By making it easy to do to initiate transactions, Fidelity Bank are staying true to their brand promise of “Together We are More”.
This means they truly have the customer at heart in all their plans and decisions. This creates a special place for them in the hearts for their customers.
Test driving Kukua
We all know that “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.”. Hence let us try out the service.
I personally like to try interesting new services, and this bot certainly falls into that bucket list. What do you need to do to start chatting with Kukua?
It is all very simple. And this is how you too can start.
- First save 0544315500 as Fidelity Bank- Kukua as a contact. You can save the number as any other name. Saving it as Kukua made it easy for me to remember and search for later.
- Now Fidelity Bank- Kukua should now appear as one of your WhatsApp contacts.
Is this your first time chatting Kukua?
If this is your first time chatting with Kukua then there is no problem.
- Start the conversation by entering Hi
- Kukua replies with a greeting. Kukua then asks you to accept WhatsApp banking terms and conditions. This appears as a web link. You are given two options. D to decline or A to accept.
- Obviously, I am sure you have already replied with A to Accept.
- Next Kukua askes you if you have a Fidelity bank account.
- Reply with Y for Yes or N for No.
- By the way, if you do not have an account with them, it is never too late to call them today for a Fidelity bank account
- If you entered Y, which I am sure you did, then you will now need to create a secure 4-digit PIN.
- I proceeded to create my 4-digit PIN.
- As a tip, a lot of people create PINs using their date of birth. I would suggest using other combinations.
- Kukua then gave me a list of possible transactions I could conduct right away.
Are you a frequent chatter with Kukua?
If this is not your first time chatting with Kukua then you must likely already know your way.
- Start the conversation with Hi or Menu.
- Immediately, Kukua responds with your name and askes you to enter your PIN
- Click on the link to enter your PIN.
- After entering the PIN successfully, you are given a possible list of options. This includes exchanges rates to topping up your airtime. Evidently, Fideility bank have thought of everything!
- I entered A to check my balance.
- In no time at all, it responded with the true balance on my account.I have blotted out my account number and the balance retrieved.
- It then asked me if I wanted to do anything
- I responded with N for No to end the session
- Finally, Kukua said bye before ending our session.
A few items I loved about the service
I love what Fidelity bank have done. After trying out the service, this is what I liked about the banking assistant. Therefore, I think you will love it too.
- 24/7 banking solution:
The convenience of getting 24-hour access to your accounts anytime and anywhere is overdue for all banking clients. It is increasingly time burden-some to go to the banking hall. Social distancing and COVID-19 have made physically visiting the bank undesirable as well.
If for some reason you disliked USSD, did not have enough memory space to install the banking mobile application, then surely you cannot miss out on WhatsApp as well. You may have even seen this article on WhatsApp, that must mean that you are not out of place one bit.
- Real time service:
Having a service being available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week is one thing. However, having it see to your needs immediately you ask it to, is an entirely a different topic.
I appreciate the effort that the customer service and technology teams over at Fidelity bank may have done to put this service together and roll it out to all customers.
- Remote business looks like the future:
It looks like kiosks and other physical structures serving more customers may be heading out the door. If 2020 has not showed us anything at all, it is that at a drop of a pin, we could be locked indoors. We cannot be again put into the situation, where being looked up means that our cash is looked up as well.
Solutions like the WhatsApp baking assistant are terrific for the financial sector. Julian and team have pushed the bar higher with this innovation. Innovative solutions like this in COVID-19 times are a breath of fresh air. This is especially more relevant since it has become even more important to do all business remotely.
- Verified account:
It should not be taken for granted that criminals could also create business or individual WhatsApp accounts. Criminals take advantage of WhatsApp accounts to lure naïve and unsuspecting customers.
Hence, the verified symbol on the WhatsApp profile of Kukua also makes me feel double assured that my details and transactions are in safe hands.
- Instant replies:
I am glad to say that the responses were instant without any lagging. Sites and services with long response times, simply make me neither want to visit nor try those services ever again.
Kukua gave me no such troubles, and as such it was a pleasure interacting with her.
- No PIN to delete afterwards:
There is no record of the PIN among the chat messages. Consequently, nobody can mistakenly view your PIN.
- Reply options:
Whether I entered the response as upper case characters or lower-case characters the reply worked.
On some applications, and platforms such as USSD the need to enter the exact charater in the exact case, otherwise it would not work. A very common example is the STOP text whenever you need to unsubscribe from a service.
- Relatable persona:
The cartoon used to represent Kukua represents the market audience. And with a name like Kukua it is as relatable as a persona can be.
From the clothes, to the headband, to the glasses, it would be difficult to discount this Banking Assistant so easily by the competition.
- The greetings, and name use:
I appreciated how Kukua always began each new session with a greeting. A personal touch was also added when Kukua replied on a first name basis.
This makes you feel like you have known the banking assistant for a very long time indeed.
A few suggestions for improvement
Every service can be improved. And as such, I have two minor suggestions to the Fidelity team.
- Replying with images:
I personally do not think it is necessary to reply each message with an image as well. In my humble opinion replying with the text or strings is fine. If you are replying with an image, then that should play a role in the content of the message. For example, for the balance enquiry, adding an image in addition to the actual text with the balance seemed like an overkill.
- Web links:
Some of the web links that show up, appear as a spaghetti mess on the screen. If possible, it would be great if simple looking slug addresses were used instead. Anyone who has a little bit of comprehension of how web URLs work can understand the sort of information which is being passed along.
Obviously, these are the details that uniquely identify the customer, and these are being routed to another page outside of the WhatsApp application. As a security paranoid fellow, I wonder what could happen if the encryption method being used is deciphered. Why not simply do the entire encryption on a separate page which has all the details and use a callback to return the user back to the WhatsApp screen. The consent link used when registering for the WhatsApp service does this perfectly. Unfortunately, other addresses like the link to provide your pin fall foul of this.
A bank on a mission to make banking easier
With moves and solutions like Kukua, I see no reason why Fidelity Bank would not raise up the rankings come the next Ghana club 100 list.
It should come as no surprise when Fidelity bank becomes the banking partner of choice for businesses, and individuals all over the country.