“La Prensa” Newspaper of Panama | November 10, 2020
86% of banks in the region stated that the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated their digitalization initiatives; in Panama, 100% of the entities used digital strategies due to the virus, according to the first study on digital banking by Infocorp.
Banks in Latin America and the Caribbean responded to the pandemic by accelerating their digital processes, increasing investment in new technologies and offering 100% digital products, according to the first study carried out by the firm Infocorp, specialized in omnichannel platforms implementation in the financial industry.
In the study, which was carried out between August and September, 130 bankers from 83 financial institutions of different sizes and members of areas such as personal and corporate banking, digital channels, innovation and marketing participated. For the study, the 18 countries were divided into four regions: Southern Cone (Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay), Caribbean (Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic), Andean Region (Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela), and Central America (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama).
The investigation determined that although 86% of banks are claiming that Covid-19 accelerated their digitalization initiatives, only 40% increased their investment in technology.
However, in Panama, 100% of the six banks that participated answered that the health emergency promoted digital processes within the company and 50% of local institutions raised the budget for digital technologies and processes due to the pandemic.
The investigation also determined that in the last six months, 47% of banks in Latin America incorporated digital processes for account openings and many other processes that were previously carried out in person.
In the case of the Panamanian market, Infocorp mentioned that banks gave priority to the digitalization of the processes to request new products.
Specifically, 50% of the banks that participated in the survey in Panama, today allow you to open an account digitally; 25% facilitated the processing of consumer loan applications through digital channels as well as debit and credit card applications.
In the midst of the pandemic, the result was that 75% of the banks in the region registered an increase in services on digital channels and in turn, the transactions of this percentage of banks grew on average by 25%.
Half of the banks in Panama will seek to renew their digital channels to provide a more modern experience in the next twelve months. “We must take advantage of the crisis as a catalyst for leadership, as well as for the digital and cultural transformation of banking,” said Ana Inés Echavarren, CEO of Infocorp.