How WhatsApp Revolutionized Customer Transactions:
A Case Study of WhatsApp’s Impact on Customer Convenience and Cost Reduction

Introduction

This case study explores the innovative use of WhatsApp as a transactional platform. It describes how a company leveraged WhatsApp’s features to offer exceptional experiences for its customers for communication, transaction processing, and customer support.

By being the first in the industry to use WhatsApp as one of the key digital channels and utilize its technology to transform transactional services, the company set an example for its peers operating in the financial services industry. The results achieved were phenomenal as the company was able to significantly reduce the cost of customer transactions and improve customer satisfaction by providing a more convenient and personalized experience.

It also discusses the challenges of using WhatsApp for customer transactions, such as ensuring data privacy and security and offers insights into best practices for using the platform effectively.

Industry: Financial Services

Company: Asset Management Company

Company Description

The company is one of the leading Asset Management Companies of Pakistan managing USD 800 million in investment solutions like open-ended mutual funds, pension funds, and investment advisory portfolios.

Business Objective

The company had the objective of driving digital adoption among customers and bringing a shift from physical to digital modes of transactions and services to increase customer convenience and accessibility along with the reduction in operational costs.

Business Challenge

The company only offered traditional digital platforms (web portal and mobile app) for the provision of transactional and others services to its customers. Alternative digital service delivery platforms were uncommon in the industry due to a lack of awareness regarding data security, implementation, and cost.

Therefore, the company faced a challenge in increasing the pace of digital activations and usage of digital services from these existing traditional platforms to reduce operational costs and increase efficiency. 

Initiative

Implementing the Technology

To bring about a change in the digital usage patterns of the customers and to increase digital adoption, the data of digitally active customers was analyzed in the first phase. The analysis aimed to determine customer age groups that use digital services, the frequency of their usage, the preferred mode of service usage, and frequently used services. To complement this analysis, information about other available platforms popular among different age groups was scrutinized to determine their capability for providing frequently used customer services.

Based on the results of the analysis, the WhatsApp portal was shortlisted as an alternative digital service delivery platform the company will use to provide its key services. The goal was to encourage customer involvement and increase the usage of digital services as a crucial factor in boosting customer loyalty and reducing customer attrition.

In this regard, local and international vendors offering the implementation of WhatsApp solutions were explored. Several meetings were conducted with the vendors and decisions regarding the following were made in light of the regulatory environment of the industry and the resources of the company:

  • In-house deployment vs cloud-based deployment
  • In-house development vs outsourced development
  • Local vs international vendor

After determining all the above factors, an international vendor was selected for the cloud-based deployment of WhatsApp services using APIs. The development was conducted in-house by the IT and Digital Transformation team.

Implementing the Services

For the rollout of WhatsApp service for customers, the following approach was used:

  • Concept paper, prototypes and processes for the services to be offered through WhatsApp were developed by the Digital Transformation team and approved by key stakeholders and the regulator. In the documents, security considerations regarding displaying confidential customer data, mechanism for authentication of transaction requests through OTP, and session activation were also covered among other processes
  • After the approval, functional specifications were defined and shared with the IT team.
  • Based on the requirements, APIs were developed by the IT team for fetching all required investor-related information, receive transaction requests through WhatsApp and provide other value-added services
  • These APIs were then shared with the Digital Transformation team for user interface development using the WhatsApp service provider’s portal
  • The Digital transformation team developed user flows on the web-based portal offered by the WhatsApp service provider using APIs shared by the IT team
  • Once the services were developed on the portal, internal testing cycle was run to ensure the service was ready for delivery
  • Once all the issues were identified and resolved, the WhatsApp service was rolled out for customers  

Target Users

  • Company Customers

Line of Business Function

  • Information Technology
  • Business Transformation

Solution

As a result of implementing the solution, the company established itself as the leader in the financial services industry to offer digital transaction services through WhatsApp.

In this regard, the following services were offered to the customers through WhatsApp in two languages:

Existing Customers:

  • Execution of Transactions: Option to initiate transaction requests for investment, fund transfers and redemptions
  •  Account balance: Option to view balances for all accounts
  • Detailed account statement: Option to request account statement for accounts as per the selected period
  • Tax certificate: Option to request tax certificate for accounts as per the selected period
  • Status of activated value-added services: Option to view activation status of value-added services for selected accounts
  • Daily fund prices: Option to view daily fund prices
  • Request a meeting: Option to request a meeting with the sales staff
  • Talk to agent: Option to talk to call center agents

Potential Customers:

  • Request a meeting: Option to request a meeting with the sales staff
  •  Talk to agent: Option to talk to call center agents
  • Digital account opening: Option to redirect to digital account opening page on web portal

Results

As a result of the above, the following outcomes were achieved by the company in a period of 1 year:

  • The digital activations were increased by approximately 108%
  • The digital to manual transactions ratios were improved by approximately 41%
  • Cost savings were increased by approximately 66%

The Future

Given the speed at which new features can be developed and rolled out for the customers on the WhatsApp portal, there is great potential to offer innovative services to customers ahead of industry competitors, thereby setting oneself apart in the market.

Key Highlights