Zimbabwean financial services provider First Capital Bank has announced the launch of Alisa, a WhatsApp banking chatbot, bringing together machine learning and cognitive computing technologies to provide customers and clients with various banking services.
The bank says that this mobile application brings peace of mind with unique privacy and security settings, end-to-end encryption, and identification and verification processes prior to the completion of any personal banking transactions or information sharing.
Interactions with Alisa are free, with charges applying to transactions depending on their tariffs.
The bank has also introduced reverse billing through what it calls a zero rating solution that allows Econet customers to access their internet banking and mobile banking app at no cost to them. This development, says First Capital Bank, makes it one of the few banks currently offering this service.
The consumer banking director Angela Kamhiriri has described the current developments as being in line with the predominant digital banking global standards which will allow customers to transact with ease.
Ironically, however, many customers who need such a service may have trouble accessing it. According to the Zimbabwean Sunday News, Zimbabwe's vice president Constantino Chiwenga has called on mobile phone operators to provide network connectivity to marginalised communities, pointing out that the government wants connectivity to support programmes such as online educational platforms, electronic passports and e-licensing.