How Brazil’s largest banks invest in technology, automation

Brazil’s banking sector has led the way in investment in expertise and innovation for some years now and here’s a look at BNamericas’ latest figures.

In 2019, the sector’s spending on the sector stood at 24.6bn reais (US$4.58bn), up 48% year-on-year, consistent with the 2020 edition of a technology report by Brazilian banking affiliation Februban.

The 2021 report, along with information from the past 12 months, will be released in the coming weeks and is likely to see further progress as the pandemic accelerates the digital transformation of banks.

The health crisis also triggered some growing digital habits, such as contactless money with cards and mobile units.

In 2020, this modus operandi saw an increase of 470% to 41bn, according to Brazilian cards and fund affiliation Abex. Overall, the cardboard sector grew 2tn reais in transactions over the past 12 months, up 8.2%.

In this section BNamericas takes a look at how the largest individual sector banks have invested in expertise and what their near-term plans are.

ital unibanco

The lender is targeting to have 15 million buyers in its digital banking arm, known as ITI, by the end of this 12 months, compared to 6 million in April.

“What we consider to be our digital technology with the ability to meet all the needs of our customers. We don’t need to go digital just by providing an app, although, of course, we got the expertise and passion for innovation Milton Maluhi Filho, CEO of Itau Unibanco, said at the Q1 results press conference.

Itaú estimates that it is going to more than double the investment in new options this year compared to 2018, while infrastructure ({hardware}, servers) spending decreased by 28% at the same level.

“It is necessary to say that ITI, being an enterprise in itself, can be a related expertise platform to assist our various companies. This is true for each of the Monoline products, similar to bank cards and other banking services,” said Maluhi Filho.

Cloud migration is another strategic objective for the lender.

The financial institution has set a target of having 50% of its providers within the cloud by 2022. In December, Itaú signed a 10-year contract to use the cloud offered by AWS.

“It’s not just copying existing methods and pasting them into a new remote news center. We’re rewriting code and updating options, breaking down monolithic methods, and using micro-service architectures.” so that we can maximize the benefits from this speed. It enables us to achieve an additional autonomous speed, productivity and effectiveness in our operations,” Maluhi Filho told the web press conference.

Itaú’s non-interest bills decreased 6.6% year-over-year in Q1, which the financial institution attributed to fine points of operational effectiveness due to its fixed funding in expertise.

In the buyer support segment, 54% of total first quarter sales to people were made through digital channels, which is 70 percent higher than the proportion in Q1 2020. And 95% of buyers serviced by the digital assistant did not call. Customer Support Middle.


Bradesco’s digital financial institution, the latter, reached 4.4mn customers and 267mn transactions in March.

Transaction volume was up by 244% compared to March 2020.

The 2021 target is to reach 7 million customers by the end of the year, said Bradesco CEO Octavio de Lazzari Jr., at a press conference to debate first-quarter results.

Its digital assistant, BIA, handled around 131mn interactions in Q1, up from 87.3mn 12 months ago.

The assistant was developed in conjunction with IBM’s Watson machine learning platform.

In its Q1 financial statement, Bradesco said that BIA is evolving to be more assertive and now provides more than just solutions as well as helping customers to transact.

In March, Bradesco reached 20.9 million mobile subscribers among people and companies, a 20% increase from March last year. During this period, there was a jump of 154% in account opening through the mobile app as compared to the same.

Due to the pandemic, financial transactions through digital channels grew by 75% in this period, while at ATMs it fell by 83%.

The bank said that at present around 98% of the transactions are done through digital channels.


Santander Brasil’s digital platform garnered 484 million month-on-month visits in March.

The financial institution’s apps generated 360 million month-on-month visits, up 39% y-o-y.

Digital channels also accounted for 57 per cent of fresh account openings in March.

Based on Santander, over 8 million monetary services and products have been purchased across digital channels within the first quarter.

The bank’s synthetic intelligence channel, Gente, recorded a 46% drop over the past year since its launch in May 2020, until February this year.

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