From Infocorp, we decided to interview different women who transform banks, each one from a different place. Below, you’ll find Natalia García's experience and the role she had in the digital transformation of the Banco BCT in Costa Rica.
Graduated from the Latin University of Costa Rica and holder of two MBAs, one in Finance and one in Marketing, Natalia García has been working at the Banco BCT for 14 years, where since the end of 2014 she has been the Manager of Marketing and Sustainability.
NG: It was created in 1978 as a consultant. Three professionals united with the idea of creating a financial group, whose main segment would be businesses and high-purchasing power individuals. In 1983, the Banco BCT in Costa Rica was founded, which kept consolidating itself and adding subsidiaries. In 1986, it obtained the license in Panama, and later in 2007, it acquired the London Financial Company and obtained the general license. Nowadays we have customers from all around the globe, with 11 branches in Costa Rica and 7 in Panama. We are between the third and fourth bank of the country. The bank currently has 510 employees.
NG: About 6 years ago, we decided to move to the next level of customers, not just those with important patrimonial level, but also independent professionals. That’s why, in 2014, the payroll service was implemented for companies who were already customers of the bank, and that forced us to assist retail banking. We offer comprehensive services, always with a differential and customized service as a key strength. We are slowly making incursions in what retail banking demands, but always with social responsibility. Our priority is to be close to the customers.
NG: I was in the marketing area and, in 2013 or 2014 I started getting in touch with apps, I began doing market research. And we identified certain trends. We also realized that we were falling behind in the experience we were offering to our customers. It was then that I got completely involved in converting processes and embracing digital transformation through a multidisciplinary team.
NG: I would say 5. After-sale services are digitalized, but we still need to finish digitalizing the initial service. When technology processes are delegated, it’s harder to apply the essence of customization. We are working on humanizing the process and being able to walk the customer in the right way. There are segments in which the online accompanying was achieved and others where it still hasn't.
NG: The relationship started in the middle 1990s, long before I joined the bank. Infocorp placed BCT as an innovation leader at the time when talking about online banking was utopic. Infocorp invests a lot in research and development and it’s always proposing new and better ways to do things.
NG: At BCT, there are more women than men, near 60% are women. Although it is the other way around in leading positions, where 80% are men. Anyway, I have mixed feelings regarding this topic. I think that we women have the utter capacity to take on leading positions, but the parity quota can make people believe that I am there because I am a woman and not because I have the skills. In my case, I’ve been at the bank for 14 years, I’ve worked in almost all departments. And when the digital transformation proposal arose, there was no questioning whatsoever.
NG: I feel very proud of the process of recent years, of having done things until achieving what we have now. Having spread that seed fills me with pride. But we need to keep transforming and writing the roadmaps to help us move forward. We are working on it. Believe it or not, before joining this world, I used to say that I was never going to work in the banking industry, I didn’t want to. I’m now passionate about what I do, I love the financial sector, it makes me very happy to communicate, sell and offer. I consider the banking industry as an instrument that can make dreams come true.
NG: I think we should forget that we are successful because you become less self-critical if you feel successful and you think you don’t need to change much. That prevents us from wondering if we can do what we are doing better. It is worth pointing out that BCT is the bank with the lowest default in Costa Rica, it has maintained a sustained and organized growth from its beginning. And, on the new path towards virtuality, our priority keeps being not to lose the human connection.
We invite you to read more about Natalia and other women in the Ebook on Women’s history month.