IT Innovation

Delivering and Evolving Mobile Banking

CIO of the Year | Latin America
2014 Oracle Excellence Awards

Banco Davivienda technology goes out to get new customers.

By David A. Kelly

March/April 2015

When your goal is to be the most innovative bank in Colombia and Central America, you don’t wait for customers to come to you. Instead, you find ways to bring your services and products to new customers. And over the last few years, that’s exactly what Banco Davivienda, one of Colombia’s largest banks, has done with its DaviPlata mobile banking service.


“DaviPlata was designed to provide money management tools to people who don’t have other alternatives for their financial services,” says Patricio Melo, executive vice president of IT and operations at Banco Davivienda in Bogotá, Colombia, and winner of the Oracle Excellence Award for CIO of the Year—Latin America. “Now, we have 2 million customers using their cell phones to make and receive payments and manage their financial accounts.”

The bank’s DaviPlata mobile banking platform is one part of a larger innovation initiative on which Banco Davivienda has embarked as it consolidates many of its core business functions onto an IT architecture based largely on an Oracle technology stack. The DaviPlata application can be used for sending or receiving payments via cell phone, as well as managing bank accounts and other financial transactions and interactions. It provides a cost-effective way for the bank to serve a large number of customers who have never held traditional bank accounts.

“One of the best ways to gain more customers is by having great customer service,” says Melo. To that end, for the past few years, Melo has been guiding successful changes at Banco Davivienda, including the implementation of Oracle’s Siebel Customer Relationship Management (Siebel CRM) applications as the bank’s core customer relationship solution.

We make sure to have periodic meetings with Oracle in order to share our work, our expectations, and our business needs. ”–Patricio Melo,
Executive Vice President of IT and Operations, Banco Davivienda

With a total of more than 7 million customers and 700 branches in Colombia and Central America, Banco Davivienda provides all types of financial services for its consumer and business customers, from accounts to investments. The bank has long been an Oracle customer, using a wide range of Oracle solutions for everything from marketing campaigns to managing the bank’s call center.

Melo’s IT organization is divided into two groups, one of which is devoted to managing traditional IT bank services as well as the day-to-day operations of the bank. The other group is dedicated to creating innovative new solutions that will bring in additional business, attract new customers, and provide ways to serve existing customers better.

“One of our challenges is to be able to combine old and new technologies in a way that allows our business units to have a competitive advantage,” says Melo. “For that, technologies like Siebel CRM are key. They give us the capability to provide customers with the best service possible.” The bank uses technologies such as Siebel CRM and Oracle RightNow solutions to provide employees with a 360-degree view of its customers, even across different channels. By consolidating all customer interactions into Siebel CRM, the bank will have a consistent view of its customers, from its call centers to its branches.

But it’s not just technologies that are enabling Banco Davivienda to succeed at managing its day-to-day operations as well as developing innovative new services and products. The bank has also worked hard in two areas: the definition and implementation of robust processes prior to the implementation of technology, and building a strong relationship with Oracle to get the most out of its technology investments.

“The most important thing in our relationship with Oracle is that we try to do our projects in a collaborative way to learn the best way to leverage new platforms and technologies,” says Melo. “We make sure to have periodic meetings with Oracle in order to share our work, our expectations, and our business needs. Then we try to work together to satisfy those needs and expectations.”


Patricio Melo’s Best Practices

Here are Banco Davivienda Executive Vice President of IT and Operations Patricio Melo’s tips or best practices for making large changes in the technology, as well as the associated business processes:

  • Build a strong team. “You need a very strong team that involves both operations and businesspeople. The team has to be focused on what the customers want and how the organization’s processes can support or meet those needs.”
  • Put technology second. “The customer’s needs come first; the technology is second.”
  • Prioritize for success. “You can’t do everything at once; you have to prioritize. You need to be very, very focused and do a few important transformations at the same time, but not all of them at the same time.”
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Photography byJoshua Hoehne,Unsplash