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BancoEstado takes the challenge of reaching 4 million Chileans with CuentaRut

Felipe Roca

, Apr 27, 2011. 03:00

CuentaRUT became a crucial instrument for the financial system, and has positioned itself as a key support in Chileans’ bankarization. Over 50% of users belong to the lower income segment of the country.
During an activity held in Matucana branch, where the impact of CuentaRut has been underlined, the Finance Minister Felipe Larraín, together with the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Pablo Piñera, informed on the key role played by BancoEstado in Chileans’ bankarization. 

On the occasion, both authorities emphasized that in four years, this innovative product became a payment method that has allowed all Chileans to count on a financial system, in many cases for the first time. 

The Finance Minister stressed this achievement and noted that with this "we are democratizing credit, reaching broad sectors of society. We are bringing financial services to a large number middle-class people, and those with fewer resources as well, "he said. 

The Minister informed as well that almost 20% of Chileans have this product and said that "we continue promoting this process, so that many more people have access to this product." Thus, he proposed the goal of reaching 4 million accounts, and BancoEstado accepted this challenge by 2011.

CuentaRUT promises to bankarize lower-income sectors of this country. Half CuentaRUT customers are people who only have this financial instrument. 70% of them are Chileans with incomes under $ 300 000. And we believe that this instrument supports all Chileans," said the Chief Executive Officer of this State entity. 

He also affirmed that this product complements the CajaVecina". We have more than 5,000 points throughout the country. CajaVecina is a little version of BancoEstado operating in small stores. Our goals are ambitious. In the medium term we want every Chileans over 15 years to have a CuentaRUT and we want a CajaVecina in each neighbourhood of Chile. At that point in time, we will have made a great contribution in Chileans’ living standard, who will be able to walk to the nearest store to pay bills and transfer money with their CuentaRut."

It is important to underline - among many other qualities - that this product has no maintenance cost and a low usage charge. CuentaRUT can be used to make financial transactions and payment of services as well. It also serves as Bip! Card for public transportation in the capital. 

Likewise, this payment method - to which every Chilean is entitled - may be used through Redcompra with no cost for the customer, both in person within the coutnry, and through Internet worldwide. 

Virtuous circle 

Larraín and Piñera explained that the Bank has been developing – together with CuentaRut and associated with stores along the country – a widespreading process of CajaVecina points, and has significantly promoted the use of automated channels, so as to bring the bank to people. 

"It is important to note the virtuous circle between CuentaRut and the various service channels of BancoEstado. In CajaVecina, for example, almost 710,000 financial transactions are recorded monthly, all of them in remote areas. In addition, CuentaRut explains that BancoEstado’s website was the most visited of the industry during 2009 and 2010. Only in February this year over 720,000 financial transactions were performed, plus 5.1 million ATM transactions recorded in the same month, "said Pablo Piñera. 

Finally, CuentaRUT has played an important role supporting the delivery of state benefits to the most vulnerable. During 2010 – for example - over 152,000 "March Bonus", about 262,000 tax returns and 150,000 monthly JUNAEB scholarships were paid through CuentaRut.

These figures show that CuentaRUT is a convenient, close and highly bankarizing product, which has also driven the digital literacy of many Chileans. "This year our goal is to reach 4 million CuentaRUT and thus, the same number of customers who, like Jose Luis Castillo, here, represents many other Chileans who found the solution to their needs in CuentaRut" emphasized the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer. 

CuentaRUT in figures 

Coverage: CuentaRUT has developed mainly in segments with little or no financial coverage: 

- 45% are people with no other product or savings only.
- 73% have incomes under $ 200 000 or have no income. 
- 30% live in rural or geographically remote areas. 
- 47% are women, with low bankarization standards .
- 69% have no formal debt in the financial system .

Use: CuentaRUT accounts for a strong transactional growth in various service channels of the bank: ATMs, website, Redcompra: 

- 5.1 million financial transactions at ATMs in February 2011.
- More than 720,000 transactions BancoEstado’s website in February this year. 
-2.1 million Redcompra transactions during the same month 
With almost 710,000 financial transactions, CajaVecina and CuentaRUT are providing financial services in areas previously neglected.