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[South Africa] Standard Bank launches COVID-19 chatbot

The Standard Bank South Africa has launched a chatbot on WhatsApp to keep its customers up to date with its services, debt relief offerings and other important information relevant during this COVID-19 period. The chatbot will provide accurate and verified information on Standard Bank’s response to COVID-19, answers to frequently asked questions and links to official sources of information on the pandemic and countrywide lockdown.
“Our customers’ financial wellbeing remains one of our main concerns. We know that South Africans are isolated but still need information. It was important for us to develop this tool so that we could provide our customers with the banking-related information that they need instantly and on a platform which they understand, and communicate on every day,” says Deepesh Thomas, Head of Wealth Digital at Standard Bank.
To access the Standard Bank chatbot, customers can send a message via WhatsApp to +27 64 570 0291.
The information that will be available on this service include:
(a) What banking service are available during the lockdown.
(b) What relief is being offered to clients whose income is affected by the pandemic.
(c) What measures are in place to curb the spread of the virus at Standard Bank locations.
(d) Standard Bank’s responsibilities to economic activity.
(e) How Standard Bank is supporting government relief efforts.
(f) Where South Africans can get more information on COVID 19 in South Africa.
“Financial services are an essential service under the lockdown and to make access to services easier for our clients, we are urging people to use our digital platforms, such as My360 and Shyft, and our online banking and mobile banking platforms,” says Thomas.
“The Covid-19 chatbot is another way in which we are empowering our customers through a digital solution in these trying times. We encourage them to make use of the chatbot to ensure that they are informed of banking services available while under lockdown.”
The chatbot will continue to evolve, by continuously adding features that are relevant to customers, including a call me back function and an interactive option that will allow clients to speak directly to a call centre agent.

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