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Mexico's Banco Azteca, Scotiabank eye digital expansion

Mexican banks Grupo Financiero Scotiabank Inverlat SA de CV and Banco Azteca SA Institución de Banca Múltiple are looking to increase their digital clientele to about half of their total customer base in the coming years, El Economista reported.

Enrique Zorrilla, CEO of Scotiabank Inverlat, reportedly said the bank aims to increase the percentage of customers adopting digital channels to over 50% by 2020 from the current 26%. The bank also expects its digital sales to hit above 33% this year from 25% in 2018.

The growth in digitization will be supported by a C$2.50 billion global investment in digital technology this year, Zorrilla said.

Meanwhile, Banco Azteca CEO Alejandro Valenzuela said the bank plans to expand the number of clients using digital channels to 7 million in 2019 from the current 4 million. The bank has 15 million customers currently.

Both banks are also preparing for the launch of CoDi, a mobile payment system with backing from the Mexican state. Valenzuela called the new system "important" and "something that has many virtues," especially in a country where cash is still the dominant mode of payment.

Valenzuela believes that "physical limitations will be largely eliminated with digital infrastructure" such as CoDi, though also stressed that he does not expect physical branches to disappear with the arrival of these online networks.