Category Archives: BFSI

Kenya Whets Her Appetite For Chatbots To Enhance CX

Kenya has recently shown a real interest in chatbot technology evidenced by the fact that most organisations increasingly see it as a fast and effective way of enhancing the Customer Experience (CX) and Customer Engagement – driving efficiencies across their business.

This is according to Noah Amoke, Sales Executive for Kenya and Uganda at Infobip Africa, who says that the appetite for chatbots among enterprises in Kenya is largely driven by the realisation that they need to engage with customers on the platforms and channels of their choice, in a timeframe that today’s connected customers have come to expect

“This means that companies are opening more channels to communicate with their customers, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, web chat or email, and they want to offer a 24/7 consistent and standardised experience across all these channels. This can be done via a chatbot,” says Amoke.

Amoke notes that customisable chatbots, that support NLP, is a huge requirement in a multilingual country such as Kenya, where different dialects and languages are spoken, depending on the region.

“The increasing maturity of chatbot technology is also a driving factor for adoption. The current chatbots that are on the market have some limitations, especially in terms of understanding natural language. However, as more sophisticated chatbots become available, that offer with Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities, we expect to see much higher uptake.”

Connected Kenya

As Kenya is leading the continent in terms of smartphone penetration and Internet usage, the phone is key to most transactions and activities in the country. Kenya has a 91% penetration of mobile subscriptions, compared to Africa’s 80%.

It is not surprising then that the country’s enterprises need to provide a mobile-first platform that allows their customers to communicate with them via chat apps, that are available 24/7, which greatly enhances customer service.

“However, it’s not just about enhancing customer services. The appetite for chatbot solutions also stems from the fact that they can lower the operating costs of companies and provide efficiencies that call centre agents cannot,” says Amoke.

He points out that chatbots can deal with multiple queries at a time, and call centres that deploy chatbots need less physical infrastructure, such as office space, meaning that they need to employ fewer agents and can spend less on salaries hence lowers the cost of operations.

“It’s also about flexibility. A chatbot can be deployed over multiple communication channels, be it WhatsApp, SMS, Facebook Messenger, web chat or email, and the quality and consistency of the response – the entire experience – remains unchanged across the various channels,” says Amoke.

Financial and telecoms uptake

George Muhia, Pre-sales Engineer at Infobip Africa, says uptake of chatbot technology has been particularly strong among organisations in the financial services and telecoms sectors in Kenya, but that other industries, such as retail, healthcare, and education have also shown a healthy interest.

“Chatbots can be deployed across any industry where a company wants to offer comprehensive customer support. Modern consumers want to ‘buy’ into experiences. Chatbots can assist organisations to deliver personalised experiences by making conversations relevant, interactive, and engaging,” he says.

Muhia explains that companies that are seeking to deploy a chatbot solution should look for an enterprise vendor that offers a customisable chatbot platform, offers good customer support and provides a solution that is innovative, with intelligent elements such as NLP.

“The key is that the solution is customisable, offers a programmable platform that can scale as the organisation requires, and can be fitted across any vertical. These days, chatbot solutions tend to be very robust and easy to use. Anyone can create a chatbot, without necessarily having IT or technical expertise, but it is best to team up with an experienced partner that can provide a flexible and scalable solution,” he concludes.


New Research by SmartMessage – How did Corona effect digital communication in the business world

The Corona COVID-19 epidemic, which has become widespread all over the world, has deeply affected the business world. Especially highlighting the importance of digital transformation, the disease showed that digital channels are now a necessity to reach the masses. Companies have attempted to increase their intensity in digital communication in order to strengthen their relations with their customers.

As a brand serving in omnichannel communication in the corporate world, we focused on the effect of the epidemic on digital message sending. Our research, based on e-mail and SMS channels includes more than 550 million deliveries in 71 sectors.

Corona effect in digital messaging

According to the data we have analyzed, there is a 70 percent monthly increase in e-mail and SMS channels used in digital communication compared to the pre-Corona period. It is seen that the increase for email is 85 percent and for the SMS channel is 62 percent.

Digital communication increased in many different industries

When analyzed sectorally, it is seen that there is an increase in digital message sending in almost three quarters of the total. E-commerce has been the sector with the highest growth. Especially consumers’ efforts to provide many services over the Internet instead of going out seem to have caused e-commerce brands to be more active in digital communication. Again, among the sectors where the deliveries increase the most, there are areas of energy distribution, insurance, law and financial consultancy. Increases have been observed even in sectors (such as real estate, event marketing) that are predicted to be most affected by the pandemic.

The content was also driven by Corona

It was observed that institutions were active in terms of empathizing with their masses, instilling confidence and sharing new conditions of service, especially with the effect of the epidemic. While online activity notifications such as directing consumers to digital channels and webinars came to the fore, the epidemic deeply affected the content planning of especially marketers and corporate communication professionals.

You can take a closer look at our research with our infographic study:

Source :

Report from ArabNet -The Impact of the COVID 19 outbreak on the entrepreneurship ecosystem

This report, developed by Wamda and Arabnet aims to identify the extent of the impact of COVID-19 on the region’s entrepreneurship sector and the measures that can be taken to alleviate the financial stress on startups.

Only 12 Startups
have a runway of more than 12 months

of travel startups shut down

83% of respondents in Egypt
reported an overall negative impact of the pandemic

Half of the region’s startups
have also witnessed an impact to their latest funding round

Close to 50%
of startups that responded to the survey reported that they have a cash runway of less than 6 months

Infobip Launches Conversations – A Contact Centre Solution For Customer Service

Infobip, a global cloud communications platform and Blue Turtle Technologies have successfully completed the rollout of a WhatsApp-based chat banking platform at one of South Africa’s Big Four banks.

The platform which has been rolled out across nine African countries will ultimately improve and enrich customer engagement, cost efficiencies as well as streamlining the onboarding of clients for the financial institution.

Introducing the conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) component over WhatsApp Business API chat app enables customers to seamlessly interact with a chatbot over a messaging channel that they know and trust. The chatbot can provide information about product queries and respond to FAQs, among others.

Chatbots allow organisations to adopt an AI-first approach to more menial and mundane tasks, providing customers with self-service capabilities, while freeing up call centre agents. That way call centre agents can devote more time to strategic initiatives and deal with problems that create more value addition.

Partner Synergy

Shaun van Rooyen, Strategic Accounts and Partnerships Manager for Africa at Infobip, said there was a great degree of synergy between Infobip and Blue Turtle, which contributed to the successful completion of the chat banking project.

“Teaming up with Blue Turtle played neatly into Infobip’s strategy to take WhatsApp Business API into the large enterprise market via partners that have the expertise and skills to deliver Infobip’s services into those organisations” he said.

Best of breed

Blue Turtle’s decision to choose Infobip as a partner was largely driven by the company’s WhatsApp Business API offering which is seen as the best of breed API wrapper available, as well as a huge cost differentiator.

“They have a global and local footprint, which means they understand our market and what it’s like to do business here. Partnering with Infobip enabled us to offer chat banking over the most ubiquitous communication channel we have – WhatsApp,” says Byron Wolff, Product Manager for Digital at Blue Turtle.

Wolff adds, the Big Four bank is taking a phased approach to rolling out services on the platform, at first only offering conversational AI over the WhatsApp chat app. However, more is to come as soon as the financial institution links the chatbot with advanced natural language processing to its core banking system, it will switch on many new features.

“This will allow customers to do many more things, such as full banking transactions using natural language,” Wolff concluded.