Financial Sector Forced to Innovate

The current business scenario ended up breaking down several barriers, and now there are more customers who demand the online services of financial institutions, which are challenged to facilitate digital processes and in turn apply strict security standards.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

In the last four months, in most Central American cities, bank clients have moved away from the bank's service points, because between the home quarantines decreed due to the spread of covid-19 and the preference to avoid attending places where large numbers of people can congregate, consumers are choosing to look for ways to carry out transactions digitally.

See "Financial Services: Business Potential in Central America"

According to businesspeople dedicated to the implementation of digital processes for banking entities, it is estimated that in the last four months the proportion of clients who carry out their transactions online went from between 20% and 30% before the start of the pandemic, to 50% or 60% at present.

Ana Inés Echavarren, CEO of Infocorp, a company that develops technological tools for Guatemalan banks, told Elperiodico.com.gt that "... What has become fundamental is to have a platform of digital channels. The user today needs to be able to pay for services, transfer money, check their account or pay someone digitally. Not only the platform but also the digital channels are worth it. In these last months, the digital channel of preference has been WhatsApp. This was the most implementations we did. In the midst of the pandemic we confirmed the priority of chatbots. We were already investing and evolving in this product."

You may be interested in "Credits: Potential Market in the Region"

Echavarren added that "... Today there is talk of the possibility of banks conducting transactions with each other and client companies using banks as a platform for transactions that is called: Open Bank, is a trend that was already coming with great strength. That is what we are working on today, in a pilot phase with some clients. And the other thing is retail banking. There is a very large percentage of bank clients who only use their cell phones as a means of communication, so it is necessary to have an intelligent native application that adapts to each user."

In some ways the crisis helped to break down resistance to change, but with banking regulations it is difficult to accurately balance the ease of digital transactions and process security, the directive concluded.

According to studies by CentralAmericaData, nearly 16 million people in Central American markets are looking to purchase financial services online. Of this group of consumers, approximately 11% are exploring options for acquiring a credit card.

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