By Monica Marcela Gonzalez Rodriguez, Senior Professional of Innovation Channels and Banking Correspondents.
Correspondent Banking in Colombia emerged 8 years ago as a Government requirement for financial institutions, seeking greater banking penetration mainly in remote populations, where there is no bank presence.
At BBVA Colombia, the first Banking Correspondents joined in 2007 and by the end of 2012 there were 3 companies: Gana, Edeq and Servicer. Through them 250 correspondent banking points were launched in the Antioquia, Quindio, Córdoba, Sucre and Bolívar Departments.
During 2013 two new companies joined: Full Carga and Gelsa, resulting in national coverage with a total of 1,218 correspondents by December 2013 with these five companies.
Correspondent Banking has become a channel of great importance for the development of business strategies such as payroll care, in towns where there are no ATMs or branch network presence, thus enabling corporate customers to be provided with care through placing staff in remote locations.
The Banking Correspondents have also given a boost to collection agreements for both public services and for food companies, mail orders, educational institutes, and others, throughout the country.
One of the main aspects of Correspondent Banking is that, due to its physical presence in low-income and residential sectors, it is an easily-accessiblechannel that can be used by customers and users such aspensioners or housewives. Here they can find a solution to their needs, for example, paying utility bills, collecting benefits, or paying off BBVA loans or credit cards.
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