Banco Falabella – The Growth of Digital Financial Solutions

Banco Falabella has sought to transform their organisation by developing a digital financial business model, with a presence in the physical world. For the last four years they have focused on expanding their digital offering of financial solutions but also improving the experience of their clients.

In order to meet the growing digital demand of their Colombian customers, Banco Falabella have consolidated their offer with new digital financial solutions. These include a completely digital card, a new system to set up an in-app credit card, payment with QR code and redemption of digital gift cards through the app. In the coming months contactless payment solutions such as Tap&Pay will also feature. These as well as other functionalities, have allowed the establishment of an app, which is now the bank’s main channel of attention.

One of the key solutions to achieve the bank’s digitalization goal was the launch of the 100% digital CMR Credit Card. This product, which can be requested through a fast and entirely online process, allows customers a new payment option. Users are able to pay immediately in electronic stores, using only a mobile phone and the Banco Falabella app – no plastic card is needed. Nevertheless, following a simple online registration, clients can also receive a more traditional plastic payment card.

A customer need only download the Banco Falabella Colombia App and they can access their digital card in just one click. New customers are able to request their CMR Credit Card completely online by downloading the App and are able to start using it immediately.

The launch of this new card and the consolidation of the bank’s portfolio of digital services in the App and Online Banking have had a profound effect. Currently Banco Falabella can attend to approximately 90% of its requests and operations through digital channels alone.

The Creation of a Digital Factory

Like most of the financial industry, Banco Falabella outsourced the technological development of their digital systems and channels; doing so up until 2016. However this way of working highlighted the need for dedicated teams within the bank, to create solutions that would help simplify the lives of their customers.

As a result, at the start of 2017 everything changed. The bank redefined itself as a digital entity with a physical presence and to achieve this goal Banco Falabella created its digital factory.

The bank’s digital factory is a space for the creation of digital products but is also focused on delivering an optimal digital experience to all of their clients.

The main objective of this laboratory is to migrate ever more customers to the bank’s digital channels, whilst increasing the usage and improving the experience of established users. Integrating financial products in to Falabella’s digital eco-system is also a key component, as well as increasing the sales of these products through their digital channels.

One of the advantages of the digital factory is that, although based in Chile, the potential of its work is at a regional level, adapting it to the reality of each market. Having begun this journey in 2017 with a group of fifty people, today this team numbers five hundred and forty-four in the region – a testament to its importance and success.

A New Methodology Promoting Digitalization

From conception until today, the digital laboratory has grown over two stages. The first stage was focused on cementing a digital presence, with simple experiences for customers, in both the mobile app and on the website. In order to achieve this initial goal, a change in working procedures was required, with an emphasis on a collaborative and entrepreneurial approach. Towards the end of 2019 the bank decided to make a change. The digital factory was too focused on the implementation of internal software and it was clear that the right path was to focus on both products and user experience in more depth. In order to facilitate this strategy there was a need to integrate multiple disciplines, which at the time they did not possess.

The digital factory’s processes and experiments had originally included professionals from areas such as design, technology and business. Other teams who specialized in data measurement, marketing, graphic design and analytics were added. Stage two of the journey would centre on a more holistic and comprehensive approach within this laboratory.

The piloting of this new model, utilising teams made up of these previously lacking disciplines, resulted in a resounding success. This was evidenced by an exponential growth in the digital opening of cards at Banco Falabella. As a consequence the decision was made to focus even more resource, on this now tested methodology.

At the start of 2020 the second stage had begun in earnest, the role of the digital factory and the way to address customer experiences had been redefined.

Thanks to the implementation of this new methodology, all of the bank’s new financial solutions have been created, with platforms that ultimately allow their clients to self-manage. With these digital foundations firmly in place, Banco Falabella is set to continue as an important player in digital banking, within Colombia.

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