The number of people who are constantly on their mobile phones is growing rapidly. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: So much has changed in the way people communicate and share updates since the introduction of social media and instant messaging apps. Now, the way people bank is changing, too.

One of the leading financial institutions in UAE has rolled out for the first time a chat banking solution, enabling savers and banking customers in the country to execute financial transactions on WhatsApp.

Emirates NBD confirmed on Sunday that its customers can now “chat bank” via the instant messaging app, said to be a first in the Middle East region.


The new service seeks to tap the growing population of consumers who bank via the internet on a regular basis. The bank said it has seen a rapid increase in digital transactions, with over half of its customers actively using mobile and online banking regularly.

The latest innovative solution is made possible through Infobip, an easy-to-use secure channel that lets people do banking transactions without having to log in to their online accounts or walk into a physical branch.

With the “chat bank” service, customers, particularly those who are constantly on their mobile phones, can now check via WhatsApp their account balances, the last five transactions of their accounts or credit cards and last credit-card mini statements.

They can also temporarily block or unblock cards and request for new chequebooks or the latest foreign exchange rates.

Lest users are afraid the transaction can easily get hacked into by fraudsters, the bank assured that all messages on its “WhatsApp Business” account are encrypted.

To ensure the communication is secure and official, customers only need to watch out for the green badge next to the bank’s name in the chat window.

And what’s more, customers can bank via WhatsApp anytime, as it’s available 24/7.

“We believe the new offering will complement our existing ddigital banking channels and offer security along with the simplicity and convenience of instant responses, 24/7,” said Abdulla Qassem, group chief operating officer of Emirates NBD.

“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," added Suvo Sarkar, senior vice president, head of retail banking and wealth management at Emirates NBD.

How to subscribe?

Customers are requested to SMS ‘WhatsApp’ to 4456 using their registered mobile number, or alternatively, they can subscribe through mobile or online banking, to start banking via WhatsApp.