Banesco Banco Múltiple Achieves Excellence Through Digital Transformation.

Banesco Banco Múltiple is one of the most dynamic financial institutions in the Dominican Republic. Since its early years, it has been offering a wide array of products to thousands of clients across the country. As a result, by the end of the first quarter of 2022, the bank had reached the sum of RD$43,768 million in assets, RD$31,005 million in deposits, and RD$2,860 million in equity.

One of the main factors that set Banesco Banco Múltiple apart in the Dominican banking ecosystem is being part of an international corporation that has been present around the world for decades, such as Banesco Internacional. The organisation is integrated by four independent financial groups: Banesco USA, Banesco Panama, Banesco Venezuela, and Banesco Dominican Republic. Its founder, Juan Carlos Escotet Rodríguez, is also the main shareholder of ABANCA, a well-known financial entity based in Spain and regulated by the European Central Bank, which has positioned itself as one of the most profitable in that country. The total assets of Banesco Internacional and ABANCA, added together, are equivalent to more than 98 billion US dollars.

With the legacy and support that Banesco Internacional provides, plus the determination and commitment of its staff and the loyalty of its clients, Banesco Banco Múltiple has been able to achieve financial excellence and constant innovation in the Dominican Republic. In fact, it recently became the first bank in the country to enable financial transactions and claims via WhatsApp (the top instant messaging service in the DR) through its virtual assistant DANI, as part of the bank’s ongoing digital transformation process.

Banesco’s Ambitious Digital Transformation Plan

The bank’s digital transformation began by placing its clients and customers at the centre of all decisions. This means that Banesco did not only consider the economic viability of the process, but also the positive impact it would have on the people who rely on their products and services. Additionally, just like any other transformation process, this one required significant dedication, time, and resources to be able to deliver value in the shortest possible time, while enabling other capabilities for the near future.

As part of its transformation, the bank launched the only credit card in the Dominican market that offers 7% cashback every day of the week at popular establishments, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, hair salons, restaurants, and more. This initiative was paired with the introduction of a new and unique bank statement format that allows clients and customers to graphically see the distribution of their expenses, as well as their consumption history and savings to date. Most recently, statements also include cardholders’ credit scores, a feature intended to contribute to their financial education and quality of life.

The digital transformation process of Banesco was also a perfect time for the bank to empathise with its clients and learn more about them. One of those lessons was the fact that they were eager for digital and efficient services that were also human, simple, and easy to use. This understanding of things was the basis for the introduction of new customer service channels, such as WhatsApp, which is a great differentiator asset for the bank in the Dominican market and is a feature that kept evolving from the traditional customer service offered by operators until it became DANI, Banesco’s automated chatbot.

It should be noted that DANI is such a versatile tool that it allows Banesco’s clients and customers to do numerous things in one place, such as consulting their account statements and loans, activating and blocking cards, receiving urgent banking assistance, viewing hours of operations of branches, and most recently, making claims and disbursements online from its Multicredito product, which is a unique capability for this channel.

As an alternative digital channel, DANI is now the preferred customer service method of Banesco’s users, which is proven by indicators such as the increase of transactions via WhatsApp by 56% in recent months. Likewise, it was reported that the level of satisfaction among users of the DANI platform was around 92% during the month of March 2022.

Other innovations introduced during the bank’s digital transformation process include its association with the largest ATM network in the Dominican Republic, UNARED, with more than 1,500 ATMs, and with the PAGATODO network of payment offices, enabling more than 600 points of sale. These actions have drastically expanded Banesco’s ability to support its clients and customers when it comes to money withdrawals and payments across the country.

Moreover, Banesco has worked to upgrade its face-to-face channels with a new service model, starting with its Bella Vista Mall branch (located in Santo Domingo), where clients and customers can access an innovative self-service system to check their accounts and cards balances, download statements, and much more, without having to wait in line. This self-service system offers a significant upgrade in comparison to the conventional models of multi-service ATMs that people can find in the country.

The bank also recently relaunched other digital channels its Internet Banking and APP for IOS and Android. These services were fully built to show its clients and customers how much Banesco values their time by offering them modern interfaces that allow them to complete their financial tasks in a few simple steps.

In order to make this transformation possible, Banesco Banco Multiple invested in drastic IT improvements, including the adoption of services in the cloud and API architecture. The bank also invested in customer experience and human talent, to make sure every single member of their staff was ready to provide clients and customers with the best possible service.

According to the bank’s leaders, most of the transformation process of their digital service consisted of making sure users could execute tasks like registering to their online banking platform, resetting a password, adding payees, and making internal or interbank transfers instantly and without friction, in just 2 or 3 steps. This was possible to achieve since Banesco’s online platform is user-friendly and does not require clients to utilise tokens or any physical tools to complete transactions; instead, the system uses other mechanisms such as multifactor and biometric protections to guarantee the highest security.

The bank’s leaders also assured that, while upgrades and transformation processes like the one they recently finalised usually take advantage of technology to optimise procedures and create new services, their main focus during the entire digitalization process was always the human element, with their clients and customers at the centre of it and always ensuring the greatest delivery of value to them.

Outstanding Support to Dominican SMEs

Banesco Banco Múltiple is also known for caring about Dominican small and medium-sized enterprises, which is why the bank invests heavily in them, providing them with the support they need to succeed and grow. Thanks to these efforts, the financial institution currently has about 1,757 SMEs as clients, all of which praise its personalised customer service, attention to detail, and other benefits like financial education workshops and talks with industry experts.

In terms of products and services, SMEs at Banesco can benefit from checking accounts, with or without interests; commercial savings accounts, in Dominican pesos and US dollars; business loans, secured and unsecured; and other financial tools like construction loans, financial certificates, lines of credit, and “green” loans, which are dedicated to sustainable endeavours.

Banesco’s support for SMEs as an important pillar of the national economy is very comprehensive. An example of this is how in 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank signed an agreement with Groupe Agence Française de Développement (PROPARCO), an investment subsidiary in the private sector of the French Development Agency (AFD), for an amount of US$15 million dollars to be destined to the financing and development of the portfolio of Dominican SMEs. The previous year, in 2020, the bank signed a collaboration agreement with the Dutch financial institution FMO for US$12 million for the same purpose, just to name a few of its actions in this regard.

Furthermore, in line with its goal to support SMEs, Banesco is carrying out several Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, as they consider this to be essential to its operations. As part of these actions, also in 2021, the bank brought to the country, free of charge, the fourth edition of the 2021 SME Tour Conference, the most important event held in all of Latin America exclusively for business owners and managers of this sector.

Similarly, the bank remains close with SMEs through its “Conexión PYMES” platform, focused on educational content and talks, and looking to enhance the skills of managers and staff in small and medium-sized companies in the Dominican Republic. This gives them access to a selection of current and trendy topics discussed by subject matter experts. Some of the topics that we have presented in the past include “Reorientation of marketing, advertising, and strategic communication”, “The reinvention of SMEs, journey through different countries”, “Resilient businesses in the face of the new normal”, and “From entrepreneur to businessman.”

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