Grupo Bancolombia plans to invest some $140 million USD (400 billion pesos) in digital transformation and artificial intelligence initiatives this year.
Of this total, about 80% (320 billion pesos) will be devoted to operations in Colombia with the remainder being allocated for Bancolombia assets in Panama, Guatemala, and El Salvador, specifically for its Banistmo and Banco Agrícola holdings.
Colombia’s largest bank, which brought in a net profit of around 910 million USD (2.6 trillion pesos) last year, plans to focus its digital transformation efforts on increasing its mobile and digital service offerings as well as enhancing digital security.
Though online and digital banking has continued to rise in the Andean nation in recent years, penetration still lags below the United States and Europe. Despite the challenges, roughly three million of the Medellín-based banking group’s customers in Colombia have used the its mobile app and around 80% of transactions are now conducted digitally, according to Bancolombia.
“That only means one thing: the world is changing and we see it clearly,” said Juan Carlos Mora, president of Bancolombia.
“We have been adapting to an economic reality,” he added.
The work in new solutions using artificial intelligence and cognitive capabilities will be done largely in the company’s “Center of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence,” which was launched last year.
The center will be key to continuing to advance Bancolombia’s Tabot customer service chatbot that, which can respond to requests through Facebook Messenger, and its Invesbot robo-advisor resource that has so far “facilitated” more than $22 million (63 billion pesos) in investments, said the bank.