By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Customers of Banco do Brasil (BB) can now make financial transactions through WhatsApp. In all, eleven types of services can be performed by the messaging application.
The bank is releasing the news to around 500,000 customers each week, but the tool will be available to all account holders in the coming weeks.
Now, according to BB, the following transactions are available through WhatsApp: transfers, Iban code query (which indicates the international account number), cellular recharge, card release, current account balance, current, saving balance, savings statement, investment fund statement, card tracking and issuance of card invoice.
Since June, the bank has consulted on WhatsApp and Twitter. Now the tool has been expanded to financial transactions. All operations are performed through an artificial intelligence system. According to Banco do Brasil, transactions are secure because they are encrypted from end to end.
According to Agencia Brasil, to access Banco do Brasil by WhatsApp, users only need to save the phone number (61) 4004-0001 on their mobile phone and start a conversation. In case of queries, the bank sends a confirmation code via push or SMS notifications.
For all other transactions, the customer must also enter the password, before receiving a text response confirming the transaction. If there is a need for customer care, the client will be referred to a bank employee.
In February, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that globally WhatsApp now has 1.5 billion monthly active users (MAUs) who are exchanging nearly sixty billion messages on a single day.
According to Statista, as of Q3 2017, Brazil has the forth largest market penetration with 56 percent of the population using WhatsApp, behind Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Germany. Facebook acquired WhatsApp for US$19 billion in 2014.
In the last several years Brazil has shut Whatsapp down for short periods of time. The last instance, the decision was overturned by the Chief Justice of Brazil’s Supreme Court (STF) at the end of the day.
“The suspension of the activity of WhatsApp violates the right to communication, guaranteed constitutionally to the Brazilian people,” noted Chief Justice Ricardo Lewandowski in his decision at the time.