Miguel Valero Cañas
Digital Banking Director, DGA, Channels Development and Innovation
As the largest independent national bank, how do you structure your digital and innovation strategies to compete against local subsidiaries of global players like Citi and BBVA?
Competing with foreign banks in the Mexican market is extremely motivating, because we face already developed and tested solutions from other countries that forces us to make decisions quickly and deliver to market innovative alternatives for our customers. This has allowed us to be the first to launch a banking application, to incorporate the soft token, to operate mobile payments (wallet), to mention a few examples.
Our digital strategy has a clear focus on the penetration of our customer base, transferring a large volume of transactions to the digital channels in order to provide our clients the best possible user experience.
How do you prioritize your digital and innovation efforts? How do these relate to Banorte’s overall strategic priorities?
Digital initiatives are directly related to institutional objectives of efficiency and customer service, and this is a strategic priority. We are constantly incorporating more and better features to make our customers life easier and also to ensure that we reach out to practically all our clients; that is, we give high importance to those operations that generate high impact without neglecting those that significantly reduce the effort to perform them in some other channel, typically branches or ATMs.
In looking at your digital innovation strategy, which do you feel is more important to Banorte – creating savings through efficiency or creating growth through enhanced reach?
Both are relevant. However, we choose to start with operational savings. In large banks, the massive number of customers plays an important role in transactional costs when operating utilizing the traditional channels; migrating to digital channels allows us to create savings in the short term as well as to achieve cost efficiencies. Also, we are building the road to attract new entrants to the economic cycle, the “millennials” and we ensure to incorporate them into our customer base through prompt and excellent services so that there is not need to visit a branch. In this way we develop this market in the medium term and we ensure it responds to their needs.
You were the first bank in Mexico to offer mobile payments, that was certainly a landmark for the country and for the bank. How that channels works for you?
The launch of Mobile Payment Banorte in 2013 marked a milestone in the history of our Group and the Mexican market. Banorte got years ahead of the competition, by offering to its customers this innovative form of payment, today mostly known as “wallet”. Our time to market was focused on physical trade (POS); however, we learned that the best customer experience with these kind of payment is generated in e-commerce, so we refocused mobile payment to e-commerce in late 2014. Since then, we have been focused our efforts in increasing customers and businesses acceptance. There are huge advantages such as shielding transactions against fraud and cloning, but adoption is still slow: the market is experiencing with the wallet gradually and the “mouth-to-mouth” plays an important role, if you take into accountant that for a large part of the population there is still some resistance to make payments through the mobile phoone.