One of the largest banks in Brazil, Grupo Bradesco, has recently announced that major changes will be occurring to its top leadership.
Both executives have stated that they share, more or less, the same strategic view of the bank’s future. They will continue to seek to achieve organic growth while following competitive initiatives in all of their markets. Both men have stated that the current position of Bradesco is a strong one, enabling the bank many economies of scale and competitive advantages that it can use to gain an edge in most of its core markets.
But one of the main challenges that both Brandao and Trabuco Cappi see in the coming years is the large number of the bank’s customers and prospective customers that have no access to online banking facilities. Both Brandao and Trabuco Cappi were some of the earliest and strongest supporters of the development of user-friendly online banking platforms anywhere in Latin America. As early as the late 1990s, Bradesco had a fully functional online banking platform that immediately proved the concept and demonstrated that customers who use the online banking platform instead of traditional in-person banking facilities tend to be both more satisfied with their banking experience and cost orders of magnitude less than resource-heavy brick-and-mortar customers.
This realization has led Bradesco to follow an aggressive strategy of rolling out new technologies every year. Today, the bank has among its portfolio of technologies the award-winning Next online banking platform, a system that allows clients to do virtually any banking task from the comfort of their own home or anywhere that they are able to connect to the internet via a mobile device. Systems such as online wire transfers, which are still not even common in the United States, enable Bradesco customers to enjoy a range of online banking options that is simply unparalleled anywhere else in the world.
But there is a problem. Over 13 million of the bank’s 27 million customers have no way of reliably connecting to the internet. Many of those customers have no means to connect online at all. This presents a huge challenge to the bank. If a large portion of these customers were able to connect online, it would not only allow them to enjoy far more positive overall banking experiences, it would also save Bradesco billions of dollars each year in human resource-related expenses.
Additionally, these customers are usually unable to connect online because they either have no access to internet-capable devices or because they are completely technologically illiterate. Both Brandao and Trabuco Cappi have stated many times that this is not just a dire problem and an urgent challenge for Bradesco, but it is also a serious issue confronting the country of Brazil as a whole. Getting these people up to speed on how to use the internet and allowing them access to it could not just improve their banking experience, it could mean sharply increased economic output for the country as a whole.
Although Brandao and Trabuco Cappi have been coy about their plans to confront this problem, there have been rumors that there may be promotions in the future that involve the giveaway of internet-capable devices with the opening of certain types of accounts. There has also been talk that Bradesco may be striking agreements with the government and other banks to bring the level of technological literacy in the country more in line with first-world levels.