The chatbot banker will see you now
The Hustle

The chatbot banker will see you now

A banking startup called Zelf operates wholly out of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.


August 5, 2020

Only a messenger bank could make Venmo seem like a total hassle.

Downloading an app to send money? Might as well admit you were in college during the moon landing.

A Latvian startup called Zelf is bringing banking to messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook Messenger.

It doesn’t have an app or a physical bank. It doesn’t really exist at all outside of WhatsApp or Messenger.

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Want to pay your friend back for those Pop Tarts? 

Just text Zelf.

Punch in the amount and their contact info, and Zelf’s chatbot will zap the cash in seconds.

Checking your balance or sending an invoice? The bot’s got you.

Your money is stored on a virtual card — you can send it to other Zelfers or spend it through Apple Pay and Google Pay.

WhatsApp is counting your coins 

Zelf is Europe’s first big messenger bank, but other countries have already mastered the text-banking game.

China has WeChat Pay, while India claims 2 WhatsApp banks: Kotak Mahindra Bank and ICICI.

That’s great news if you hate flipping between apps. But if you need financial advice? You’ll have to help yourzelf.

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