Unlocking banking’s digital future
: Santander digital transformation odyssey

  • Catarina Ribeiro (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In today’s fast-paced world of technological advancements and global disruptions, the banking sector is encountering unprecedented challenges that require companies to adapt their business strategies. This dissertation aims to comprehensively analyze Santander’s reaction to the uncertainties that emerged during the 2020 pandemic. This study examines the adjustments made by the Group in the short- and long-term period to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and increase its ability to respond to market demands while effectively supporting its stakeholders. Santander implemented contingency plans and accelerated its digital transformation, which it considered fundamental, especially when teleworking became a necessity. This research investigates the importance of modernizing core banking systems to meet the needs of customers in today’s constantly evolving financial market. Additionally, it demonstrates how digital transformation, accompanied by an agile culture, can serve as a strategic response during periods of vulnerability. Strategic management models are introduced to support the analysis of the case study by promoting practical implications of the theoretical frameworks.
Date of Award22 Jan 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorRicardo Reis (Supervisor)


  • Digital transformation
  • Santander
  • Resilience
  • Banking industry
  • Adaptability
  • Agility
  • Strategic responses
  • Core banking systems
  • COVID-19


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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