December usually comes with surprises and people are already waiting for them. Last December was not the exception in Costa Rica. For the first time in history, a banking institution exclusively for women was created in Costa Rica. A new idea that no one knows how it will turn out. It will have to compete against large banks like Banco Nacional and BAC San Jose, and their main catch will be the fact that it is bank for women.
Banca Kristal describes itself as a bank that was born to boost the potential of women through a financial offer which will cater all of their needs. They are also advertising the fact that they have capable financial advisers who will educate women in financial topics and the knowledge of offers, programs and digital tools the bank has available for all Costa Rican women.
Among the benefits this bank has to offer, they have cash back programs, referral programs and credit card promotions such as coupons, insurance and financial assistance. It also offer saving accounts programs for beauty, home maintenance, maternity, fashion, health, education, among others. They also advertising a special insurance for stolen bags, which seem to be an indispensable item for all women, at least it is for Costa Rican women, but that is topic for another article. Most men always wonder how the ladies work magic out of those small bags!
Banca Kristal is a project executed by Banco de Costa Rica. The entity invested between $8 million and $10 million USD in the project from design to execution and opening of the 5 stores it has at the moment. Of course, there has been a lot of comments against the idea and the money invested. Some women have felt offended by the concept by considering it discriminates and creates segregation and that it gives the impression that women cannot invest in valuable things like real estate, only in beauty items and shoes.
On the other hand, the Banco de Costa Rica management team defends the concept of Banca Kristal and says it will be a space where women can come in with their kids with no waiting lines, playing areas for children and breast feeding rooms for moms to take care of their kids without the rush of a traditional banking system in Costa Rica, which can be crazy and hectic.
It will be interesting to see in the near future how the project turns out and what acceptance it has among Costa Rican women.