In Latin America, the number of smartphones has increased considerably in recent years, enabling people to stay connected to their social networks, favorite food applications, home delivery, entertainment, cab services, just to name a few. Banking is no stranger to this transformation, which is related to the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society. BAC Credomatic is one of the key players in the region due to the way it constantly optimizes its banking. Finance expert Jason Simon discusses why this bank has used Agile technology to improve its services.

Banks must offer better services, products and online experiences so that people can open accounts, make purchases, make transfers, pay for services, get loans, get a salary advance, and so on. All this should be done from a smartphone, instantly, without moving, maximizing opportunities and time.

The great challenge is to achieve attractive and innovative solutions. To achieve this, it is necessary to research, create, test and take advantage not only of new but also of the most appropriate technologies. This will generate a differential offer in the market, and in this context agile methodologies come into play, which serve to develop products and/or services interactively and incrementally, with energetic decision-making, when customer needs evolve rapidly.

“Agile methodologies and frameworks have been around for several decades; we can highlight Extreme Programming, Scrum, DSDM, Crystal and more,” says Simon. “But at the end of 2001, 17 supporters of this way of working and creating alternatives to traditional processes met in the US and established the ‘agile manifesto,’ aware that these methodologies gave better results.”

Latin Finance, the leading source of intelligence on the financial markets and economies of Latin America and the Caribbean, recognized BAC Credomatic as “Bank of the Year 2020 in Central America and Panama” for its outstanding performance in providing retail, commercial and investment services in the region. Latin Finance’s annual “Banks of the Year” program celebrates Latin American and Caribbean institutions that excel in its rigorous and exhaustive selection process.

Among the evaluation criteria that were included that year were verifiable actions taken by the banks to address the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the institution and its clients. BAC Credomatic stood out for its agile response to the increase in demand for digital services and the promotion of its channels to provide virtual support to each transaction required by users.

“For the third consecutive year, BAC Credomatic was ranked as one of the best banks in the program,” asserts Simon. “With more than three million clients and presence in Central America, BAC Credomatic continues to grow, innovate and offer quality services to its clients.”

Agile methodologies have been around for decades, but only recently appeared in Latin America, which is why knowledgeable professionals are scarce and sought-after resources. BAC Credomatic has known how to stand out among the competition and that is why it has remained among the most favored banks among customers.

Agile adoption is a change that starts slowly, like a locomotive that is hard to start, but when it picks up speed, it is almost impossible to stop it. The same thing happens in these agile methodologies. For BAC Credomatic, it was necessary to invest and be very constant to provoke cultural change and make the teams mature.

All decisions on “how” to do things must come from the bottom up, so that and only then will you have individuals involved and empowered in the decisions, aware that the products are the fruits of their collaborative work and of which they can be proud, thus fostering creativity and innovation. That’s because Agile teams are autonomous and self-organizing.

“To favor the empowerment of teams and make the locomotive take its optimal pace, you should never put “bosses” in a hierarchical way between top and bottom (on top of Agile teams),” concludes the expert. “That represents an anti-pattern that inadvertently ruins the self-organizing capacity and empowerment of the team.”