Our digital architecture is innovative, integrated and scalable, allowing us to grow at a low cost and to quickly integrate new products and services. All of our customers are digital customers. We always seek to develop new business opportunities and products based on our ability to anticipate trends and identify innovations in the market, which has allowed us to reach significant organic growth and high profitability. Our digital architecture comprises omnichannel operations that provide our customers a unique experience regardless of the channel they use. Moreover, we integrate different layers based on the high use of APIs, which ensures an open and flexible digital architecture that facilitates the creation of new components or the integration of strategic partners. This modern and open digital architecture allows an increased concentration of investments in innovation and transformation and provides us with a competitive advantage. In 2018, we are allocating 55% of our approved investments in IT to these business transformations and 45% to running our operations. According to Gartner, traditional companies allocate 66% of their investments to running their operations. Among our innovations, we developed a tool that allows P2P transactions, we use a blockchain cryptographic model and face identification to authenticate transactions and we adapted our payment methods to include the use of a QR Code, based on mobile phone numbers. Our subsidiary Telecontato Call Center e Telemarketing Ltda., which operates as our collection center, provides another example of our innovation and state-of-the-art technology. It uses robotic services by employing artificial intelligence and provides greater customer service speed and improved cost efficiency. Similarly, our subsidiary Banklab focuses on the creation and development of disruptive projects with state of the art technology and the continuous improvement of our products and services. Additionally, we organize our solutions development structure in tribes and fleets, according to which technical and business teams can propose new solutions directly to customers. This structure provides us the agility, adaptability and creativity we need to create and implement solutions that we believe stand out compared to those of our competitors.
Over almost two decades of operations servicing our target customers, we have developed expertise and knowledge of the entire credit cycle, from the analysis, pricing and granting of credit, including collections and management, to credit recovery. Our technological platform, together with this expertise, allows secure, profitable and scalable operations with adequate risk management for population segment we target. Our use of technology includes biometric facial recognition for authentication, credit analysis and credit granting engines using bureaus, credit scoring, behavior scoring and a number of data sources to develop proprietary models for credit analysis, granting and pricing, in addition to the application of artificial intelligence at our call center to confirm transactions and recover defaulting credits.
We believe the expansion of Brazil’s income classes C and D, the inclusion of millions of Brazilians in the banking system who did not previously maintain any relationship with financial institutions and the strong growth in the number of micro and small entrepreneurs in recent years, all of which comprise our target customers, present high growth potential for us. Our business structure comprises more than 450 agencies, which are connected to our digital channels to offer the best service to our customers by means of an omnichannel strategy, which includes technology and automation. This business structure allows us to obtain significant economies of scale and increase our results. We see growth opportunities in providing services to customers who are marginalized by the traditional banking system, and we are well-positioned to benefit from favorable Brazilian macroeconomic trends, including an increase in employment rates and disposable income. Additionally, in the last five years, the penetration rate of the internet and smartphones in Brazil increased by 72.5% and 379%, respectively, while the use of traditional banking agencies has decreased. We believe we have earned credibility and the trust of our customers by efficiently offering customized, innovative, simple and quality financial solutions, placing us in a privileged position to capture the growth of this segment. Additionally, the Central Bank, through regulatory measures known as Agenda BC+, is encouraging the decentralization of the banking sector, which is approximately 78%, to accelerate the access of the Brazilian population to banking services. We expect these measures will enhance our growth potential.
Our executive officers have vast experience in the banking sector, including technical and local market knowledge, which have contributed to our growth. We have developed a strong corporate and professional structure with a team of highly qualified executives who combine their experiences in the financial market and technology. Additionally, we adopt best corporate governance practices, including structures dedicated to internal controls, internal audit, compliance and risk management. Our application to be listed in the Level 1 segment of the B3, including compliance with a number of corporate governance requirements, including independent directors, tag along rights for all our preferred shareholders and the establishment of an audit committee, evidences our continuous commitment to high corporate governance standards and our respect towards our shareholders. We will continue to invest in internal integrity mechanisms and procedures, our ombudsman and the enforcement of our code of ethics and conduct. Our employees are highly skilled and have access to an extensive in-house education and training program. We seek to attract and retain talent and experienced, skilled, engaged and motivated professionals, and we offer a number of programs in order to ensure we do so.
Our omnichannel operations allow customers to navigate a complete offering of digital channels, which include smartphone applications, internet banking, call centers that employ artificial intelligence and totem, all of which are fully integrated to our network of more than 450 agencies across Brazil. Our omnichannel operations provide great opportunities to cross-sell our products and services. Our agencies are focused on attracting and engaging customers, promoting cross-selling and offering training to customers on the use of our digital channels. Our agencies are fundamental for us to understand the needs of our customers, by allowing us to test the development of new products or services and to further explore and improve our digital platform. Our innovative model is relatively low cost by combining a fully operational state of the art technological structure, with low ownership costs, with a network of agencies that require low initial investments and low operating costs under an asset light approach with an accelerated maturation level.