Dubai-based lender Emirates NBD is set to launch a chat banking service in the UAE through WhatsApp.

The bank has integrated its core systems with the WhatsApp Business solution to enable the customers carry out regular banking operations.

The launch of this service will enable customers to check their account balances and block or unblock a card temporarily.

Currently, the service is being piloted for the bank’s employees and is expected to be rolled out soon after the trials.

Emirates NBD Group COO Abdulla Qassem said: “Following the launch of the initial phase, we look forward to progressively expanding our range of WhatsApp based services to deliver a unified, digital experience for our customers.

“In doing so, the new offering will complement our existing digital and social media channels in a secure and convenient way.”

The bank said that all messages on Emirates NBD’s verified WhatsApp Business account will be encrypted to ensure complete safety and security to the consumers.

Commenting on the propose chat banking service, Emirates NBD chief digital officer Evans Munyuki said: “With the continued execution of our digital strategy, this represents another innovative way for Emirates NBD to reach our growing customer-base.

“We are excited about offering and rapidly expanding our WhatsApp services to further enable continuous, immediate and safe conversations with our customers.”

Emirates NBD noted that more than half of its customers are now actively using mobile and online banking services regularly.

Last month, the bank expanded its DirectRemit services to the UK, enabling its customers to carry out swift fund transfers to the UK at competitive exchange rates.