VISA has been in Colombia for over 40 years. We initially worked with a processing and service provider owned by banks in Colombia and that entity managed our franchise here. About eight years ago we reviewed the opportunities to expand in the countries where VISA did not have a direct office at the moment. One of those countries was Colombia, and in 2013, we started a transition to open an office here to manage the business directly. VISA's business here continues to grow, and this is because we are closer to the market and have been working on establishing solid business relationships. Colombia is one of our key markets. One of the differences between here and most of the rest of Latin America is that Colombia has over 10 cities with over 1 million people. Furthermore, each region in Colombia is different in the way that customers behave and make payments with their cards, and this makes the opportunities in Colombia unbelievable. The high levels of innovation in Colombia have also surprised us. Both multinational and local banks are sophisticated in the tools they use and the products they have developed here.
Humberto Federico Guihur
General Manager & Country Head, VISA
President Andean Cluster, Schneider Electric
Without a doubt, Colombia is one of the three most important countries in the region, not only in commercial size, but also in the vision of the future. The government has implemented several transformations, for example in security issues, and investment in Colombia is increasing, having a positive effect for the country. Likewise, we have evidence that several of our clients are investing in the development of local operations, handling and management of their customer service centers for South America in Spanish, for example. Undoubtedly, Colombia's economy remains positive, with stable growth. As the main headquarters of the Andean cluster, the country presents is a nation of great possibilities. Schneider Electric has been present for 43 years demonstrating its commitment to investment, confidence, and growth in the territory. 2017 was an important year to consolidate the presence of Schneider Electric as a provider of digital technology solutions for efficient energy management and automation in Colombia to be more competitive in their markets.