Bankarization in Cuba: Embracing the Era of Electronic Payment
Transforming Financial Transactions in Cuba
In the region of Ciego de Ávila, Cuba, a significant shift from cash transactions to electronic payment channels is ongoing, with over half of the economic actors linked with the Banco Popular de Ahorro (BPA) already utilizing remote banking. This process, known as bankarization, aims to facilitate transactions for both individuals and companies, veering away from the conventional cash-based operations.
The Evolution of Bankarization
Bankarization is not a novel concept, having been present since the inception of banking. Initially, it referred to the use of financial products and services, such as savings accounts and magnetic cards. However, the term has evolved to indicate transaction bankarization, which involves the use of payment channels without the necessity of visiting a bank branch. This can be through platforms like mobile transfer applications, aiming to simplify life and enhance service quality.
Financial Education and Customer Confidence
To ensure customers are confident and can execute transactions correctly, they need to be well-versed with the products associated with the payment channels. This requirement has led to the promotion of financial education, familiarizing the population with the bank’s services and access procedures.
Exploring Different Avenues: Telephone Banking and More
Among the services available is telephone banking, which permits bill payments via operators responding to calls. As of August, BPA has issued more than 400,000 magnetic cards in the Avileño territory. All applicants receive a cryptographic matrix, a plastic card with randomly generated values to obtain coordinates for use as a personal identification number (PIN), enabling them to access payment channels.
Options for the State Sector: Domiciled Payroll and Remote Banking
The state sector has other options such as domiciled payroll, which involves payment to workers via a magnetic card. In areas lacking ATMs or with poor connectivity, partial domiciled payroll can be requested, placing a portion of the salary that can be used for bill payments or purchases. Economic actors also have the option of remote banking, a payment channel via mobile transfer, to manage their current accounts and execute any operation remotely, without visiting a bank branch.
Embracing QR Codes for Seamless Transactions
Another addition to the bankarization process is the use of QR codes. After obtaining these from the relevant authorities, the applicant must approach the bank to enable the extra box, through which payments received via electronic channels will be directly credited to their current accounts.
The Future of Bankarization in Cuban Society
Bankarization is a gradual yet irreversible process being adopted in Cuban society. Many are already experiencing the benefits of remote banking and domiciled payrolls. As the country continues to embrace this digital transformation, it is expected that electronic banking services will become even more integrated into the daily lives of the Cuban people, streamlining their financial transactions and contributing to the country’s economic growth.
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