“La República”Newspaper of Perú | November 16, 2020

In 25% of banks, it is still not possible to carry out completely online transactions. 38% of banks allow credit or debit card applications and 39% of them allow loan applications.

Between August and September, at least 75% of Latin American banks stated that they prioritized their digital channels to offer their products, according to the Latam & Caribbean study on Digital Banking presented by Infocorp.

“There is a large growing opportunity with the type of transactions that can be digitized in all of the banks of the region. In 25% of banks, it is still not possible to carry out completely online transactions. 38% of banks allow credit or debit card applications and 39% of them allow loan applications,” the study informs.

The study sought to identify how satisfied banks are with their digital channels, what number and variety of services they are currently capable of providing in this way, and what strategies they are going to implement in the next 12 months.

130 bankers from 83 financial institutions of different sizes and members of different areas such as Personal Banking, Corporate Banking, Digital Channels, Innovation and Marketing participated in it.

For the study, the 18 countries were divided into four regions: Southern Cone (Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay), Caribbean (Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic), Andean Region (Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela), and Central America (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama).

Digitalization initiatives

The investigation determined that although 86% of banks are claiming that Covid-19 accelerated their digitalization initiatives, only 40% increased their investment in technology. This occurs in a region where the percentage of people with access to banking services is too low.
Only in 7% of the countries, 75% of the population have access to banking services, while in the US, 91% of people have access to banking services and use digital channels.

The most common measure to promote digitization was the launching of advertising campaigns to promote the use of digital channels, along with educational campaigns or App downloads in many cases. “This shows how relevant communication and tools for automation and segmentation of messages are,” the report states.

Likewise, 47% of banks incorporated digital account opening processes, since it is an issue that has been on the table for years, but there were obstacles of different kinds, among them, some regulations from governments and superintendencies, which made the implementation difficult.

The report specifies that with the Covid-19 pandemic and these difficulties, new features such as the acceptance of digital signatures made it possible for banks to offer this new product within few weeks. Chatbots, as a measure implemented by 28% of banks, also played a fundamental role in reducing call center congestion, as they were totally overloaded.

Full article: https://larepublica.pe/economia/2020/11/16/al-menos-7-de-cada-10-bancos-latinoamericanos-priorizo-el-canal-digital-para-ofrecer-productos/