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Bank Accounts for Salvadorans

Alternative means of transferring money from the USA to El Salvador.


For many years, this major El Salvador bank would only allow customers to open savings accounts if they were a resident in El Salvador making it impossible for Salvadorans living in the United States to use its services.

However, in 2007 the company decided to open the service to Salvadorans currently residing in the USA and chose Atento as their strategic partner for the project. The main benefit of this service is that it offers both a personal savings account and an alternative means of transferring money from the USA to El Salvador.


  • To address this particular challenge, Atento employed a toll-free phone line for new savings accounts applications from the USA and for balance inquiries from existing account holders. Atento divided the account set-up procedure into 3 stages: Customer Service, Verification of Information (back-office) and Issue of Documents.
  • The methodology worked as follows: the customer would call 1-800 number and then a CTI call identification system would automatically inform the agents that the call originated from the USA and was therefore likely to concern the opening of an account. The call would then be immediately transferred to the service desk.
  • Atento’s highly trained agents would then provide the customer with all the essential new account information. Once the customer decided to proceed, the agent would obtain the necessary information and prepare the documents, which would then be sent by courier to the customer in the United States.
  • As an extra precaution, before the documents were sent out, Atento would check the address given by the customer via an internal application known as "Perfect Address", ensuring that delivery would be made swiftly and successfully, avoiding delays or extra costs.
  • Finally the customer would return the signed documents and the account was opened.
  • The customer could also consult their balance statements via a combination of an agent service and IVR.
  • To facilitate the handling of information, an intranet was installed at our center, which provided instructions and assistance to our agents giving them fast access to the information requested by the customer. Internal dimensioning processes were also employed to adjust our service levels to the traffic curve of foreign customer calls.


  • During its first year (2007), the service handled approximately 450 requests for accounts monthly which translated to a significant growth in customer numbers for the bank.

  • Initially, the business represented just 2% of the calls to the bank, but this figure has now grown by 62%.

  • Atento’s system of first checking customer addresses has produced 99% customer satisfaction for the delivery of documents. This figure stood at only 77% at the start of the project.

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