Plus 500 adopts WhatsApp for client services – will other brokers follow?

Does Plus 500 offering WhatsApp for customer support really benefit clients?

Many moons ago, when I ran the New Business Desk at one of the UK’s largest brokers, I was commonly asked on how to choose a broker. 

My answer was usually the same.

All brokers have internet platforms, but to really test how much your broker values your business, you have to speak to them. Call them and if it rings off the hook, put a line through their name.

The vagaries of trading financial markets dictate that at some point you will need to contact your brokerage, and the possibility remains that it will be an emergency, and your emotions will be running wild. If you are not able to speak to your broker in quiet times, you can’t be surprised if you can’t get through to them in busy times.  

I was thinking of this when I saw Plus 500’s recent WhatsApp development, where you can contact your broker through the messaging app directly.  What better way for a brokerage to confirm that they want to engage with you, the client, in a manner that you converse with friends and family.

Messaging apps allow you to lose the formality associated with calling and email, and just ask the question you want in a quick and easy fashion.  This development is even more welcome as ESMA intervention has led to clients opening accounts in far flung parts of the world, where calling an international number, could be time consuming and expensive. 

This doesn’t just benefit clients either. Brokers benefit.

Clients engage with messaging apps far more than they do with emails or telephone calls. It doesn’t need to end with chat. WeChat, in China has proven a payment infrastructure can be built around messaging. Last week I was pitched an interesting product by Conv.rs, where a single dashboard links a customer service representative to Facebook messenger, WeChat, and Telegram amongst others, meaning no matter what part of the world that customer is in they can engage with their broker through their favourite app.

With deep broker integration Conv.rs can provide all client engagement, such as account opening, chat-bots, trading, analyst reports and payments, in multiple languages through the messaging infrastructure.  The client gets the information they want, and the broker knows that it will be consumed and acted upon. It’s estimated that messenger apps boast an open rate of 70-80%, compared to emails 5-10%.  

In fact, this vision, if brokers engage with firms like Conv.rs  means “chat” may be the last thing you use your Chat app for!

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