Peru’s banking system is dominated by one bank that, far from resting on its laurels, continues to innovate and expand.
Banco de Crédito del Perú (BCP) leads in loans, with 33.1% of the market; deposits, with 35.6%; and in assets, with 35.4%. It is more than 10 points ahead of the closest competitor in each category. Net income for the first six months of 2023 was $726 million, ahead of the previous two years. It is also more than double the second place bank, Spanish-owned BBVA.
In its most recent report on the bank, FitchRatings highlights the bank’s pole position, stating that BCP “maintains a leadership role in all major segments and products, including wholesale banking, SMEs, microfinance, consumer, credit cards, mortgages, demand deposits, savings and time deposits.”
Diego Cavero, BCP’s CEO, says that while many things set the bank apart, “offering tranquility and stability to all of our customers is the central ingredient to our success.”
The bank has always been on the cutting edge with leveraging technology to offer new products. Today is no different, with a host of new products aimed at increasing the bank’s presence and bringing more Peruvians into the financial system.
“Digitization is spearheading financial inclusion today.”
The bank’s newest star is Yape, its digital wallet that has brought in more than 3 million customers. Yape now has more than 12 million users.
Yape has opened the way for other programs and services. BCR now offers customers Warda, an automatic savings program. Customers can choose to have money squirrelled away in an account on a daily, biweekly or monthly basis. They can earmark as little as 1 Peruvian sol a day, the equivalent of $0.25 at the current exchange rate.
Other recent initiatives include Cocos y Lucas, a digital currency exchange platform, and Crece, BCP’s one-stop program to help customers set up a formal business in Peru.
The bank’s digital penetration is also getting a boost from an ancient practice. BCP this year launched Chasqui, a mobile that visits rural communities to get potential customers to sign up for Yape and open digital savings accounts. In the Inca Empire, the chasquis ran from community to community, bringing news.
According to the bank’s half-year filing, 72 percent of monetary transactions were digital and 50 percent were cashless. Of the 12.6 million people using Yape, 9 million make at least one transaction a month.
“We want to be a solution to problems. We are constantly developing new ideas for disruptive innovation,” says Cavero.