“One of our biggest challenges through our digital transformation has been changing the habits and mindset of our clients to adopt digital behaviours,” says Francisco Ramirez, Executive Vice President of Personal Business and Branches for Banco Popular Dominicano. He explains how the bank managed to migrate transactions, become the most downloaded financial services app in the Dominican Republic, and help the country significantly grow its financial inclusion rate.
Francisco Ramirez: Banco Popular Dominicano offers a wide range of digital products and services, that allow our customers to interact with the bank and fulfil all of their financial needs.
Our app Popular, which is the most downloaded app in the Dominican financial system, offers our customers a handful of digital solutions. The app – together with the capabilities provided through our online banking website, which is the most visited of the financial industry in the country – meets our customers’ individual needs, and makes their day-to-day mobility easier.
To migrate transactions, we have deployed the latest generation of smart ATMs. Through these ATMs, customers can make online withdrawals and deposits, as well as pay their loans and credit cards with cash or funding from their accounts. These capabilities are both highly convenient and time-saving for our customers.
We have also opened digital channels, where customers give us their opinions and suggestions, and even ask for information.
Our customers have reacted excellently to our new digital offerings. Today, more than 80 percent of our transactions are digital, and more than 50 percent of our clients are using our digital platforms.
One of our biggest challenges through our digital transformation has been changing the habits and mindset of our clients to adopt digital behaviours. Another challenge has been strengthening our cybersecurity and tech infrastructure, which will enable us to rapidly deliver innovative products, channels, and services, that are better adapted to our changing customers’ needs.
According to the World Bank Global Findex, in 2017, the Dominican Republic surpassed the Latin American average of financial inclusion, with 56 percent of Dominicans over 15 years old with a bank account. This represents significant growth in comparison to the year 2011, where the financial inclusion index in the country was only 38 percent.
We encourage entrepreneurial culture through several programmes. One of them is Challenge Popular, which is a design marathon where participants propose new services or products, emanating from an intense creative process of 48 hours guided by mentors. And after, the best proposals win prizes.
Another programme is Impulsa de Popular, which is a competition that seeks to encourage young entrepreneurs in the growth of their innovative projects, and enables them access to seek capital for their business initiatives.
Last year we also launched another programme to support our SME clients that want to become franchises – as well as those that want to acquire an already established franchise.
Finally, we also have Banquero Joven Popular, which is an initiative from our corporate social responsibility division. This programme seeks to educate young people in school about the functioning of ethical and sustainable banking, while improving their financial education, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills.
Banco Popular Dominicano will continue to focus on promoting digital sales, improving digital experiences, promoting innovation, transforming traditional branches, and strengthening cybersecurity; and we will strive to achieve all of this while adhering to our model of responsible banking.