By Maritza Perez, Executive Vice President Retail Banking and Marketing, Banco Davivienda
Here at Banco Davivienda, we are renowned as one of the most innovative and technologically advanced financial institutions in Colombia and even beyond. This spirit of relentless innovation has underpinned so much of our success to date, particularly when it comes to our ongoing digital transformation, and allowed us to develop to such an extent that we are now regarded as the country’s leading digital-banking pioneer. This is reflected, for instance, in our bank’s net promoter score (NPS)—a standard measure of customer experience in the industry. It stood at a strong 62.1 for our digital channel at the end of 2020; it also recognised Davivienda for the third consecutive year as the bank with the best service model in retail banking, with an imposing score of 81.8. And lying very much at the heart of this successful transformation is DaviPlata.
Indeed, it is our commitment to addressing the demands and needs of all Colombian citizens—as well as the wider Latin American region—that stands at the forefront of DaviPlata’s design. We are particularly focused on bringing the most innovative products and solutions to the masses through the DaviPlata platform, with the ultimate aim of delivering simple, reliable and friendly user experiences. For instance, we launched the first e-card in Colombia through DaviPlata, which allows users to access national and international e-commerce platforms and can be activated quickly and at no charge. Other cutting-edge solutions include being able to recharge a cell-phone in minutes from inside the DaviPlata App at no cost, paying public and private utility bills from DaviPlata simply by taking a photo of the barcode (at no extra cost) and purchasing in Colombian stores just by taking photos of the relevant QR (quick response) codes.
We have also partnered with an Israeli start-up to launch La Tecla de la Casita Roja, which can also be activated through DaviPlata. This solution allows our customers to execute transactions immediately using a button—the “little red house key”—that becomes embedded across all popular social-media channels, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and Pinterest. As such, we are the first bank in the world that allows our customers to make transactions from any social network. The red house key enables a number of key functionalities to be executed, including sending money to others within Colombia, receiving money owed, splitting bills between multiple parties, receiving national and international money orders at no cost and topping up mobile-phone credits.
But it has been during the last year or so, at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has truly rocked not only our local Colombian economy but the global economy as a whole, that DaviPlata’s true value has been recognised throughout the nation. To overcome the challenges of COVID-19 and offset the devastating impact of the pandemic on vital sectors of the Colombian economy, DaviPlata introduced a mechanism that is now allowing traditional businesses, informal workers, store owners, freelancers, entrepreneurs, micro-enterprises, and social-media and independent sellers to stay in touch with their customers and attract new ones—as well as to counter declining sales and ultimately increase overall income. This revolutionary approach is now helping thousands of families who rely on such income for their livelihoods. Indeed, by June 2020, our client base for DaviPlata had already grown during the first six months of the year by more than three times the total growth it had experienced in 2019.
While businesses of all sizes have undoubtedly been able to access a growing number of options for selling their products and services, such as social-media channels and websites, they mostly continue to lack sufficient platforms that can optimally showcase their offerings as well as the ability to manage their sales revenues efficiently. Having noticed these widespread deficiencies, we responded by creating a number of user tools through DaviPlata that enable our customers to boost their sales.
Such tools are found under DaviPlata’s Business Profile, a service that our customers can use to manage their businesses with greatly enhanced efficiency. What’s more, it is a service that they can activate for free with no additional charges for web-page or domain administration; and they also have access to a free facility within the Business Profile to manage up to 7,628,208 COP (approximately US$2,050) without having to set up an external bank account. Furthermore, they can build digital catalogues that allow them to share their products and services with their customers seamlessly—this ultimately leads to smoother, more efficient sales processes overall.
But arguably the most valuable tool within our Business Profile is the exclusive financial-education module that is accessible to our users. The module provides highly useful content they can use to improve their money-management skills as well as gain crucial expertise in inventory management and control. Among the most valuable aspects of this feature is the opportunity for customers to provide multiple payment options, including PSE (secure online payments), irrespective of the bank they use. Users can also generate QR codes to facilitate quick and painless digital payments.
As far as the pandemic is concerned, moreover, DaviPlata has been instrumental in assisting the country in combating the spread of the virus. Last year saw our government resorting to distributing economic subsidies to Colombian citizens. To do this effectively, it partnered with the country’s innovative bank of choice: Davivienda. Specifically, it distributed around 85 percent of all subsidies (more than nine million payments made directly through mobile devices) through DaviPlata, enabling millions of people to receive their financial allocations without having to do anything or go anywhere.
We have also proved especially pivotal in assisting Colombia’s most vulnerable families in the country’s more rural and remote regions during the pandemic. Such families are beneficiaries of incentives granted by the National Government and local governments, and as such, DaviPlata has successfully enabled more than five million people to access banking services since the outbreak of the virus. It has also worked to support 75 craftswomen from Usiacurí, Atlántico; 450 young people in Pensilvania, Caldas; 19,500 coffee growers in 10 cooperatives across 56 municipalities; 59,419 small businesses in Bogotá and 85,020 elsewhere throughout the nation. Looking forward, alongside Colombia’s most remote and most vulnerable families, we also intend to direct much of our efforts towards supporting the work of traditional merchants and social-media entrepreneurs, particularly by strengthening their ties with customers and boosting their sales by offering the support and facilities provided by DaviPlata’s new suite of tools and essential services.
“DaviPlata stands with each and every one of the country’s merchants, who have succeeded in providing for their families, displaying entrepreneurship, honesty and commitment; they have created job opportunities for those who need it most, and they have offered quality products, fair prices and customer service to build trust and loyalty among their clients,” our chief executive officer, Margarita Henao, recently acknowledged. “This encouraged us to develop a new alternative that in addition to contributing to the economic recovery of the country would focus on them and their families, considering that the use of technology and digital platforms has turned into a need for any business to survive.”
We are now striving to strengthen this model such that we can deliver an entirely seamless customer-service experience that leverages cutting-edge technologies such as co-browsing, video calls and digital solutions, offering our users self-managed capabilities and altogether more convenient experiences. And by stepping up our digital offerings for entrepreneurs and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), both through DaviPlata and other services, we want to ensure that small enterprises all over Colombia are able to manage a significant portion of their businesses from the convenience of their smart devices. With more than 16 million customers and counting using Davivienda’s offerings, we are certainly on the road to fulfilling our digital ambitions.