A mainstay of the Dominican economy

Banco de Reservas’ internationalisation has opened up fresh business opportunities for the Dominican Republic and broadened the development of its communities


The international expansion of Banco de Reservas became a reality with the opening of a representative office in Madrid in January 2023, which was consolidated with the installation of two more offices, located in New York and Miami, in the last four months of that year. With the implementation of this initiative, the financial institution placed itself in a strategic position to attract better investment and business opportunities to the Dominican Republic. With capital produced by Dominicans living abroad and their offspring, in addition to boosting the country’s international trade, the opening of these branches has contributed to the economic, social, and cultural development of its communities.

Highlighting the impact of the bank’s international expansion, these new representative offices have received a large number of requests for services from the Dominican diaspora in those cities. The task of the financial institution is to manage and expedite these requests for banking procedures that are finally completed in the Dominican Republic.

In Miami, for example, the office of the Junta Central Electoral Dominicana (Dominican Central Electoral Board) has reported an increase in the number of Dominicans requesting credentials and national identity documents. The increase is related to the interest in acquiring personal or corporate banking products or services with Banreservas. The origin of 60 percent of imports to the Dominican Republic comes from the US, especially from Florida, and particularly from Miami, where Banreservas’ representative office maintains the focus on businesses with responsible companies, promoting direct transactions through Banreservas.

An attractive portfolio
With these actions, Banreservas has positioned itself in other markets to offer a broad and attractive portfolio of international solutions for its clients, such as mortgage programmes for the acquisition of homes in their country. To date, these offices have served more than 17,000 customers with requests for information on products and services, data update procedures, among others. Likewise, more than 5,000 new clients have been enrolled, more than 7,000 savings accounts have been opened, and 307 mortgage loan applications have been processed for more than DOP1.4bn ($24.3m).

Innovations, both for internal improvements and value propositions to customers, originate from digital thinking

It is evident that the products and services are related to the bank’s goal of reaching out to Dominicans and satisfying their banking needs, regardless of where in the world they reside. In March 2024, Banreservas held its first real estate fair in New York (Washington Heights) and Massachusetts (Lawrence), which generated much interest from Dominicans residing in the US to acquire homes in the Dominican Republic, managing a value of more than DOP8.5bn ($146.6m), equivalent to some 1,800 properties. Some 4,000 people were in attendance at these events, of which 3,000 went to New York, and the rest to Lawrence.

In addition to the business derived from this internationalisation, Banreservas has launched two apps to facilitate the sending of remittances from Europe and the US, as well as the constant promotion of foreign investment, especially with the recent celebration of its first mortgage fair in the US.

Importance of remittances
Remittances have a great impact on the Dominican economy. It was for this reason that Banreservas launched its remittances app in Europe in January of this year, and two months later in the US. This allows hundreds of thousands of people to send remittances to their families and relatives in their country of origin.

At the end of the first quarter of this year, data showed an increase in the bank’s share of the domestic remittance market. Already in 2023, it exceeded 38.54 percent of participation among multiple banks and held 8.91 percent of the total market.

Between 2020 and the end of February 2024, more than 8.4 million remittance transactions were received through Banreservas and its extensive network of allies, representing $2.568bn.

These achievements can be attributed to the fact that Dominicans living abroad – based on the product of their work and sacrifice – contribute to the development and balance of the Dominican economy and the welfare of their families through their remittances.

Digitalisation strategy
Banreservas is immersed in achieving one of its main strategic focuses, which is its digital transformation, creating the basis for a transversal adoption in the organisation, and generating a revolution in the organisational culture. This is a process to manage the paradigm shifts required by this type of challenge.

The bank is focused on providing people – the central character of the success of this change – with the necessary tools to shape their mindset (design thinking, digital first). To achieve this, it implements new ways of working (agile methodologies) and creates collaborative spaces so that these new formats can be exercised and refined (innovation lab, immersive innovation programmes).

Undoubtedly this organisational change is accompanied by technological implementations that allow us to support, scale the digital transformation and increase our ability to adapt, such as: robotisation, big data, cloud, DevSecOps and artificial intelligence. The bank has invested great efforts in the definition of a robust architecture, and in the modernisation of the application park, to be able to adopt emerging technologies and provide work teams with an ecosystem that enables them to implement disruptive ideas in a short time.

We have teams dedicated to the digitalisation of internal processes

With this strategy, innovations, both for internal improvements and value propositions to customers, originate from digital thinking, with an interactive roadmap that enables recurring adjustments to achieve better results and add increased value. We have teams dedicated to the digitalisation of internal processes, focused on generating operational efficiencies and improving productivity.

All this dynamism requires work teams focused on expanding the offer of 100 percent digital products and services of the largest Dominican bank in assets, which results in the constant improvement of the user experience, in all non-face-to-face channels, such as: mobile app, web, chatbot and ATMs, among others. This combination of operational efficiency and customer value creation has allowed us to evolve from a process automation strategy to a strategic innovation model.

Boosting speed
Banreservas is interested in boosting the speed of digital transformation to continue impacting financial transactions. As part of that process, since August 2020, the bank has promoted digital development, seeking agile, secure, and user-friendly services that manage self-service, and of course, offer a memorable experience for customers.

This process involves concrete initiatives such as the implementation of:
Dual branches: They provide customers with a unique service experience, combining the best of face-to-face and digital, so they can conduct their banking transactions at the speed they need. Open in Santo Domingo (2021) and Punta Cana (2023).

Banreservas MIO electronic payment account: 100 percent digital account that is requested only with the customer’s ID card from a cell phone, and through which it is possible to make transactions through a mobile application, streamlining payment channels.

Banreservas virtual assistant, Alma: Digital customer service channel, to make service inquiries, complaints, and product requests in a self-assisted manner, through automated conversations via WhatsApp.

Digital token: Digital authentication mechanism, using a code generator to authenticate transactions easily and securely.
Banreservas digital account: Savings account in Dominican pesos that can be easily requested from the Banreservas app without the need to go to a commercial office, supporting banking penetration.

Pre-approved credit card by app: Customer-centric and digital service that generates credit card pre-approvals for customers through the Banreservas app.
Sponsored data: Banreservas is the only Dominican Bank that includes free data consumption, thus promoting financial inclusion and facilitating the insertion into the financial system of all Dominicans.

Internationalisation, the development of transformational projects aimed at digitalisation, and the support to the main Dominican productive sectors, keep the oldest bank in the country as the leader of multiple banking in the Dominican Republic. Banreservas remains the main support of the economy and of foreign investments currently generated for the Caribbean nation.