SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica – October 22, 2019 – According to the results of a survey conducted by Temenos (SIX:TEMN), the banking software company, 39% of Costa Ricans confirmed they prefer to make payments and transfers in person using cash either at their local bank branch or via a financial adviser. Among the reasons highlighted by the findings, around 56% of surveyed individuals reported not knowing how to use digital platforms or financial applications on their phone or computer, and commented that they were afraid of being scammed.
According to the Global Findex Database by World Bank (WB), Costa Rica ranks third out of countries in Latin American for rates of bancarization, with 68% of the population using financial products and services. Bancarization refers to the proportion of the population that has access to banking services. Although levels of financial inclusion in Costa Rica are higher than in other countries on the Isthmus of Panama, where no other country exceeds 50%, there is still resistance to transition to a digital culture.
When asked what they would look for in a bank, 42% of respondents indicated that the most important feature is digital accessibility and 24/7 customer support. Self-service user experience, where customers can carry out transactions themselves, provides convenience and offers security, while offering the advantage of being able to make bank transfers, even to accounts in other Central American countries, without the need for cash.
Central American countries have already begun adopting digital initiatives to deepen the population’s access to financial services. In El Salvador, despite being one of the least banked countries in the world, financial institutions like challenger bank, Banco Azul, have embraced technology to drive digital innovation and transform customer experience. Using cloud-native, cloud-agnostic Temenos Transact, the next generation in core banking, the bank has been empowered to meet the needs of the rapidly evolving market while reaping the benefits of unparalleled cost efficiencies.
Enrique Ramos O’Reilly, Managing Director of Latin America and the Caribbean, Temenos, said:
“Temenos is proud to partner with innovative financial institutions of all sizes who are driving financial inclusion by empowering the local community with convenient and personalized banking services. The purpose of banking is not only to safeguard the money; it is also to advise and give answers to their clients about how to reach their life goals, whether that’s supporting an economic activity, buying a house, paying for studies, dealing with emergency cases or going on vacation. Temenos’ cloud-native, cloud-agnostic software delivers the richest banking functionality and the most advanced technology. This enables us to deliver banking to those who have been excluded from the banking system, and empower communities around the world with world-class banking.”
Temenos’ survey collected feedback from over 500 Costa Rican consumers in order to outline regional digital banking and personal finance habits.