Team BDK TeamDK

The importance of banks for the economy of a country – and, of course, the global free market economy – is something accepted and assumed for a long time. But, although in the first world countries it is already a more than consolidated sector, and its role is not a matter of debate, the same does not happen in developing countries or third world countries.

The functions of banks, in general and basic terms, include providing security in payment systems, acting as financial intermediaries between suppliers and demanders, stimulating and receiving savings, and, finally, distributing it among the economic agents who wish to carry out consumption and investment activities.

In our current societies this is something common, and we see it as natural. But, in addition, technological advances greatly influence the evolution and penetration of banking services, as do the demands of customers. The clear example of the evolution in the banking sector is seen when carrying out operations and contracting, for which it is no longer necessary to go to the offices, but it can be done from home or, even, from a mobile phone.

In countries with developing economies, not only is there a lack of funds and financing capacity, but, in many cases, there is also a huge deficit of access to banking in more physical terms.

Although the growth possibilities of these countries are enormous, in many cases it is not easy to establish and prosper, since their conditions are not similar to those of the European, American or Asian states.

Anyway, one of the main characteristics of the particular banking users in developing countries is the great penetration that mobile devices have among them. This allows them to access their banks through their phones, and the investments in development that banking entities make are aimed at this.

The problem of the lack of bank branches is more aimed at solving the needs of small businesses, which do lack the technological means to accept electronic payments.

The alternatives are to look for solutions that adapt to the local conditions and regulations in each of the underdeveloped countries. A good example is the agreements that BDK has reached in countries of French-speaking Africa, such as Senegal, Ivory Coast and Mali, so that their bank branches can be established in the post offices of these countries. In total, there are more than a hundred physical locations – which will be expanded with those of other countries – through which they will be able to reach as much of the population as possible and offer some of the financial products of the entity, such as microcredits.

This, without a doubt, is a great advance, which will allow not only a greater approach of the population to banking products, and vice versa, but also encourage entrepreneurship and economic growth for the less favored sectors of these countries.


Alejandro Betancourt