Ahead of WhatsApp UPI, Kotak and ICICI pilot banking services on WhatsApp

Amidst controversy over UPI launch in India, WhatsApp has launched banking services for Kotak bank on a pilot basis. Following the launch, Kotak will become first ever bank to leverage WhatsApp’s enterprise solution to engage with customers.

Initially, it will offer a slew of banking services and solutions over WhatsApp including updating PAN, mobile number, email ID, Aadhaar number, activating/deactivating passbook, canceling mandates for standing payments and changing customers home branch.

Unlike the regular text messages, Kotak will offer two-way communication where customers can interact with the bank on its verified WhatsApp number for information on the aforementioned services.

To avail the facility customers need to save +91 22 6600 6022 in their contact list and initiate with any keyword. The WhatsApp platform will redirect the query to Kotak Bank website where customers can feed the credentials required for the requested service.

Moreover, Kotak is also planning to give an option to its Kotak 811 customers to receive their digital welcome kit via bank’s verified WhatsApp number. For uninitiated, 811 is a full-service digital Bank account given to customers within the convenience of the app.

The development comes on the back of Facebook-owned company’s recent controversy over privacy and data sharing policy. The delay in WhatsApp Pay–in-app UPI enabled platform for WhatsApp users is also raising grave concerns over customers valuable financial data.

Besides facing tirade from other payments firm operating in the country, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had recently sent a fresh letter to NPCI seeking the details about the data storage policy of the company.

In its letter, MeitY also asked that how user data will be shared with its parent company Facebook.

However, taking a safe side, Kotak ensures the security measures and customer permission on the app. The banker has also said that it will communicate only contextual information without divulging any personal or sensitive data on the chat.

Customers can discontinue communication on WhatsApp at any point of time.

Since February, WhatsApp has been testing a pilot payment service in India in partnership with ICICI Bank for a limited set of users. Meanwhile, ICICI is also said to be piloting the banking service on WhatsApp platform.

The development was first reported by TOI.

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