It’s called Chat Account. It allows you to register, open a savings account and access all the usual bank functions.

Banco Itaú yesterday launched Cuenta Chat, a new service that allows you to open a savings account and carry out all the usual banking operations through WhatsApp. With this novel proposal – the first of its kind in the Argentine market – the Brazilian financial institution plans to increase its client portfolio by 50% this year.

The solution to operate through the most used instant messaging network in the country, demanded from Itaú an additional investment of $ 40 million over the $ 60 million it had disbursed in the last two years to promote digital channels, including a consultation system through WhatsApp. “What I know he added now is the possibility of registering and making more transactions,” explained Guillermo Jejcic, Wholesale Banking and IT Management, in a virtual press conference held yesterday.

Faced with the abundant offer of digital financial options that are emerging in the local market, Banco Itaú is committed to gaining market share based on two differentiating elements: the security of online operations and the ability to respond to all user needs.

In both cases, what supports this is the strength of Itaú, considered the largest private bank in Latin America. “Everything that is operated with the Chat Account happens within the Itaú system, and the bank guarantees it and responds to the client,” said Juan Pablo di Tomaso, head of Itaú on WhatsApp and Agile Tribe Leader.

“Compared to other competitive offers that are purely digital, we make the entire physical infrastructure of the bank available to customers to answer any questions or queries that require the attention of a specialist or a call to the call center. This is also linked to the process of transforming physical branches towards a futuristic model, which combines both worlds, the physical and the digital one ”, explained Di Tomaso, in front of a query from Ámbito.

Among the elements that prompted Itaú to launch this new service are data such as the 55 million cell phone users in the country and the 35 million who participate in social networks. Also the results of a survey that reveal that 99% use WhatsApp frequently, not only to send messages, but also to make purchases. In 71% they said that they had made a purchase through the network.

“The new digital context of our business is a reality that is here to stay. Those who start using it no longer return to traditional banking channels ”, highlighted Lionel Baragaño, manager of Digital Banking and Transformation.

The Chat Account service is free for life and is available to those who are already Itaú clients and to new users. It is activated by sending a message to the number 1126028000 and registration is obtained by sending some data and a video selfie that the system will ask for. It is activated immediately to make transfers, purchases, uploads and cell phones, balance inquiries, among others. Users receive a debit card to operate ATMs and make payments. The investment option is not yet available.