18 June 2024

Transforming Banking in Central America

| The European |

BAC Credomatic is a full-service bank that serves customers across six Latin American countries: Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. This financial institution is changing banking in Central America due to this bank operating as a unified entity with a central corporate structure that devises tailored strategies for each of the countries. Local structures are in place to oversee the delivery and execution of the strategies, although this approach differs for its digital banking platforms, which are designed and implemented centrally.

Proactive approach

As rapid advancements in technology continue to transform the financial services industry, BAC Credomatic is determined to stay ahead of the curve and consolidate its position as a leader in changing banking in Central America. It’s why the bank has taken a proactive approach to change – rather than be disrupted and forced to respond, BAC Credomatic is shaping the digital banking landscape across the region.

Four years ago BAC Credomatic embarked on a digital transformation strategy and it is already paying dividends, with compound annual growth rate for digital banking users up by 39% over the last three years. The bank is projected to reach one million digital customers in 2018, while sales of products from digital channels have rocketed fourfold in the last two years. It is no coincidence that two years ago the bank radically overhauled its website to ensure it was optimised for mobile users, while also consolidating its social media presence to achieve
1.5 million followers.

Only by responding to customers’ needs can the right technology be developed, which is why BAC Credomatic migrated its website to a far more robust and responsive customer management system to enhance the user experience (UX). Security features across all platforms are continually being upgraded to the give customer complete peace of mind.

BAC Credomatic places considerable emphasis on improving its market segmentation, because only by understanding the various demographics that comprise its customer base can the bank tailor its services and provide the best possible value.

Understanding challenges

Operating across six countries presents a unique set of challenges with regards to regulation and product development. Technology is evolving faster than regulation and the importance of staying one step ahead cannot be understated. BAC Credomatic’s philosophy is to stay nimble and put the customer first. For example, legislation in some countries does not allow for customers to electronically approve orders and transactions, instead requiring a physical signature. BAC Credomatic realises that change is a gradual process and is focused in ensuring its platforms are optimised for all eventualities.

Some central banks have mature automatic clearing houses (ACH), while others are still developing their systems, which means speeds of money transfers can vary, often at the cost of the user experience. Nonetheless, these challenges, and many like them, have forced BAC Credomatic to establish close ties with legal and regulatory bodies, meaning the bank is well positioned to quickly launch new products and services as and when legislation is updated.

Another challenge is talent recruitment for banking in Central America. BAC Credomatic is proud of its exceptional talent pool but, as with any organisation, there will always be gaps in digital marketing acumen and technological implementation. The bank believes strongly in developing its own talent through training and experience, but is also constantly on the lookout for the very best skills to ensure it reaches its goals.

BAC Credomatic’s central offices in Honduras

Banking for the next generation

BAC Credomatic’s ambition is to become a “next generation digital bank” and forever change the landscape of banking in Central America. To achieve this goal the bank has devised a strategy to understand the customer journey with a specific focus on three areas:

  • Before the customer joins the bank: with an emphasis on digital marketing, online sales and how to create valuable and relevant content to appeal to the prospective customer;
  • When they join, but before they engage digitally: therefore the emphasis is on positioning customers so they can make the digital transition. Helping them learn the benefits of banking digitally and the ease within which they can manage their finances;
  • When the customer banks digitally: the emphasis is now on improving the user experience, and ensuring customers grow in confidence and take control of their finances.

Currently, 56% of BAC Credomatic’s customer and 76% of its employee base are millennials or centennials. Appealing to this demographic is a key part of BAC Credomatic’s strategy moving forward and, with over three-quarters of its employee-base born after 1990, the bank is in an excellent position to tap into the trends and lifestyle requirements of the younger generations.banking in Central America

Simplifying and streamlining the UX is an integral part of BAC Credomatic’s drive to become Central America’s leading digital banking provider. The bank has already laid the foundations of its strategy to achieve this, which focuses on:

  • Enhancing the digital marketing output by ensuring the content is engaging, tailored, and driven by well-executed market segmentation;
  • Enhancing digital value and building trust and customer confidence in online platforms. This includes dispelling security fears and other lingering misconceptions about digital banking;
  • Evolving internal technological capabilities to be able to move with the high pace of digital change.
  • The management at BAC Credomatic recognise that UX is critical when developing online platforms, and it is in this regard that the bank’s digital services have stepped up a level. The majority of its customers most frequent requests – such as changing a PIN or increasing a credit card limit – can now be done via the mobile app. Loans, transfers and opening and closing accounts can also be done at the touch of a button.banking in Central America

Even though the bank’s digital offering has reached a level of strong customer satisfaction, BAC Credomatic knows that it must keep advancing if the bank will change banking in Central America. For 2018, a new mobile banking application is currently in the pipeline. Hours upon hours of research and testing have gone into developing an exciting new range of features, which will provide customers with greater flexibility still.

Over the course of the next 18 months cutting-edge technology will be ingrained deeper into the BAC Credomatic DNA. With AI, chatbots and much more to come, the bank’s digital transformation strategy is gathering momentum, and most importantly, the bank has struck a real chord with its customers. Long may it continue to forever change the landscape of banking in Central America.

Further information

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