Francisco Ramirez, Executive Vice President of Personal Business and Branches for Banco Popular Dominicano, explains how the bank’s commitment to digital technologies helped it meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Francisco Ramirez: Since the establishment of Banco Popular Dominicano more than five decades ago, innovation has been a fundamental pillar that characterises our service and growth strategy. New technologies have enabled us to continue developing new business models, products, and services, that allow us to excel in our customer experience, making us a reference for financial innovation in the region.
In order to accelerate our digital transformation process, we have adopted the AGILE methodology, which allows us to constantly launch new innovations. In recent months, we have introduced a series of digital solutions that together with previously existing digital functionality help us maintain our leadership status in the market.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought challenges to all the productive and social sectors of the Dominican Republic – and the rest of the world. And this has propagated into changes in consumer behaviour. It has been a period of great learning and growth, where Banco Popular had the opportunity to reinvent itself, and support its clients with the launch of multiple digital functionalities that facilitate their interactions with the institution.
During 2020, we saw an accelerated adoption to digital banking services by our clients, where digital transactions reached 87 percent of the total operations performed by the bank.
For example, our Popular App has increased its relevance and usage every year compared to the rest of the channels. In 2020, transactions increased by 34 percent. This demonstrates clients’ trust in our technological infrastructure and the digital migration resulting from the effects of the pandemic.
At Banco Popular we believe that the digital migration process will continue as more clients experience the benefits of digital banking. For this reason, we are constantly communicating digital banking benefits through educational videos and advice from our executives, showing clients how they can save time when using digital solutions.
However, clients who continue to prefer personalised assistance have access to all of our traditional channels to perform their operations, where we are constantly making improvements to maximise the service experience.
For example, guided by innovation, one of our core values, we invest efforts to increase the scope of robotic process automation. Thanks to the robotisation of tasks, we increased our operational efficiency. In 2020, we identified and robotised 19 high-volume macro operational processes, which has an impact of improving the quality of the service offered to our customers.
We want to help our clients prosper in the digital world. That is why we have a strong commitment to online security. We work so that our clients can carry out operations digitally with total security, providing them with a 24/7 service, thanks to a powerful technological infrastructure.
During 2020, we continued to strengthen our information security and cyber security programme, incorporating the requirements of the Cyber and Information Security Regulation of the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic and adapting it to best practices.
At Banco Popular we will continue to innovate and provide our clients with new solutions that can satisfy their needs and make their experience more pleasant. This is why we believe in the importance of listening to customers and co-creating with them. We have always started the innovations that digital transformation requires by understanding what our clients need.
Banco Popular will continue to bet on a greater digitisation of our clients, the automation of processes, and the continuous improvement of the service experience for Dominicans.