The internet has taken such a strong root in our daily lives that any work involving manual effort now seems like an onerous task. Take banking for example – With the advent of online and mobile banking, customers can now perform an array of banking tasks such as checking their account balance, opening a new account, transferring funds and more with just a few taps on their smartphones!

Truly, when it comes to digital banking, you never know how technology may surprise you next. And luckily for UAE residents, the next big thing is already here – WhatsApp Banking!

Your favourite instant messaging app is now a portal to your bank

Emirates NBD has rolled out ‘WhatsApp Banking’ which allows customers to conveniently carry out several banking-related tasks on the go through the instant messaging app. The WhatsApp banking services will let customers check their account balance, credit card mini statement, transaction history, temporarily block or unblock cards, send cheque book requests and more. Additionally, the ‘chat bank’ services also provide information on foreign exchange rates. The best part: These services are available 24×7 just like digital banking, providing an unprecedented blend of ease and flexibility.

How do I get started?

Subscribing to the service is very easy. If you are an Emirates NBD customer, all you need to do is SMS ‘WhatsApp’ to 4456 using your registered mobile number. Alternatively, you can also choose to subscribe through mobile or online banking. If you are an Emirates Islamic customer, you can subscribe to the service by SMSing ‘WhatsApp’ to 4451.

But is it safe?

It is just as safe as mobile or online banking. All messages on the bank’s verified WhatsApp Business account are encrypted to keep your information safe and secure. The breakthrough banking service is powered by Infobip, which is an easy-to-use secure channel that allows customers to carry out banking activities without having to log in to their accounts.

Moreover, the bank strongly advises customers to look for the green badge next to the Emirates NDB name in the chat window so that they know they are communicating with the verified Business account.

Why WhatsApp?

The growing popularity of the app and a sudden surge in usage are the two primary factors that attracted the bank to the platform. In fact, industry data reveals WhatsApp is the most popular social media platform in the Emirates, beating platforms like Facebook and Skype. “WhatsApp is a simple, reliable and private way to talk to anyone in the world, which will lend further convenience to banking with Emirates NBD,” says Suvo Sarkar, Emirate NDB’s Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management.

The new future of banking

Banks in the UAE have started investing a handsome chunk of money on expanding their digital services to not only improve customer experience but redefine it altogether. With Emirates NDB paving the way, other leading banks are likely to expand their services to social media platforms like WhatsApp to make digital banking easier and more intuitive.

[Related: Would you bank with a ‘Digital Bank’?]