According to the most recent report from the GSMA (GSM Association), sub-Saharan Africa has 444 million mobile subscribers, making up nearly nine percent of all global mobile subscriptions.

Around a third of these mobile users — 250 million people — own a smartphone. WhatsApp is by far the world's most popular messaging platform, with over 1.5 billion active users.

This Facebook-owned service is one that businesses can't ignore as a potential connection point to customers to revolutionise their user experience. Being immediate, more personal and international in reach, WhatsApp Business has the opportunity to connect with current and potential customers exactly where they already are, while also being accessible to customers with the most basic technological knowledge.

Through WhatsApp Business, companies can send shipping alerts, order notifications, product demonstration videos, verification codes and appointment reminders, as well as enable sales and support teams to answer product or customer service questions.

They are able to do so with rich, contextual messages that will facilitate a new transaction or keep a current customer happy. These engagements are secured by the end-to-end encryption that makes WhatsApp so trusted, which means that customers can rest assured that all transactions are secure.

For example, Hello Paisa — known for its international money transfer services — is enabling consumers to use WhatsApp as a simple means to send money and transact. Hello Paisa has created a seamless WhatsApp experience that intends to ensure that consumers can make use of remittance services as conveniently as texting a friend.

Using WhatsApp also makes remittance even cheaper for customers, as WhatsApp data bundles often work out cheaper than normal data bundles. This is the company's latest demonstration of how they keep their customers at the centre of what they do.

The WhatsApp Business API allows companies to create entirely new customer-centric experiences at their users' fingertips and the potential is unparalleled for companies who are bold and agile enough to seize the opportunity.

For more information, visit You can also follow Hello Paisa on Facebook

*Image courtesy of Hello Paisa.