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Digital Economics Updated: 19 Sep 2018

Yesterday from an office, today from anywhere in the world

Most banks only pay attention to the “roof”: the products and services customers see. BBVA Colombia has made structural changes both to the products and services and to their structure, in order to offer a truly digital experience to its customers.

Yesterday from an office, today from anywhere in the world

Not long ago, no one would have thought that it would be possible to apply for a loan, have it approved and get the money in the same day. Times have changed, and today, anybody can order a wire transfer using their handheld devices.

This reality is the result of the millions that financial institutions have invested to optimize their processes and make their customers’ lives easier and simpler. That is the case of BBVA Colombia. The institution has invested nearly S40 million in its digital transformation process over the past three years, substantially improving its customers’ digital experience.

“The purpose of BBVA’s digital transformation is to bring the age of opportunity to everyone, and this principle guides all the actions we develop,” said Fabiola Acosta, Vice-President of Digital Banking of BBVA Colombia.

The change comes from within

The first step to offer a truly digital experience to the Colombian customer base was changing the way in which customers were managed, by enabling our advisors to leverage the opportunities that mobility offers. “We have gone from customers having to visit our branches, carrying their physical documents, waiting their turn in line, first to apply for a transaction, and then, on repeated occasions, to check the status thereof, to online processes managed by our agents starting from their iPad, with the customer’s collaboration. This way, the advisor can explain the products’ details and initiate the contracting process using interactive tools,” said Acosta.

And this process is clear, transparent and collaborative; customers are informed about the status of their applications and the costs they will have to bear from the onset, because the customer and the advisor carry out whole process simultaneously,” said the Vice-President of Digital Banking of BBVA Colombia.

Additionally, in a few months’ time, BBVA customers will be able to validate their transaction orders using their fingerprints to verify their identity.

BBVA has also simplified the access to different digital channels in order to make it easier to interact with the bank. “We want customers to choose the contact channel they prefer and to offer them an easy and simple experience," said Acosta, who added that the results have been overwhelming, with new customer registrations in digital banking skyrocketing from 19,000 per month in average to more than 44,000 since March.

Today, our customers can activate consumer credit and credit card pre-approvals and request credit cards.  “In short we will enable new functionalities for our customers that will allow them to request payday loans, open savings accounts and we will also launch a new product called Mobile Cash,” said Acosta.

New ways of working

Just as technology and processes have evolved, the ways in which people work have also changed and adapted to a market that demands increasingly faster rollouts of new products and solutions.  That is why today it is very common to see multidisciplinary teams working collaboratively in specific projects, looking for a common objective, applying the Agile methodology.

The purpose: To get great results thanks to the team’s combination of cross-cutting skills and ability to execute projects quickly.

“The results have been so positive, both from a market and customer point of view, that we are in the scaling-up stage, with a view to implement this development methodology in other projects and in the organization as a whole.” added Acosta.: (Link al artículo de Scrums).

On several occasions, BBVA Chairman Francisco González has repeated that “The banking industry’s digitalization process is unavoidable and unstoppable.”

“Most banks only pay attention to the roof, to the projects and services that customers see. But if you only build the roof without changing the supporting structure, the whole building becomes very unstable