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Design 10 Jun 2021

BBVA, first bank to win Spain's National Design Award

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BBVA is the first bank to receive a special mention in the design category during Spain's National Innovation and Design Awards (Premios Nacionales de Innovación y de Diseño), organized by the Ministry of Science and Innovation. The award was presented by the King and Queen of Spain in Granada.

"BBVA has set itself the goal of leading the transformation of the financial industry, and design has become a key piece for the success of this strategy, while keeping its customer focus," stated David Puente, global head of Client Solutions during a recorded speech played at the award ceremony. Since its creation in 2012, BBVA's Design team has grown to now include around 500 people in seven geographical areas.

"Design has helped to move our corporate transformation process forward, both in terms of the creation culture and of the delivery of the best client experience. And this is demonstrated by our app's strong position as the best in the world," stressed Puente.

The Spanish Innovation and Design Awards by the Ministry of Science are presented in recognition of professionals and established companies that have been incorporating design into their business strategy, and have rewarded BBVA's work over the last nine years. Announced in November 2020, the award was presented on June 10 2021 at the Palacio de Congresos in Granada, by the King and Queen of Spain.

Margarita Barrera, global head of Design at BBVA, received the award for an unusual strategy in the financial industry. In fact, this is the first time a bank is given this national award for design.

"This award helps us challenge ourselves and keep investing in this discipline within the organization. Even though we've come far, we know there is still a lot to do, and design can helps us reach new territories and locations beyond our imagination", added Puente.

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The award has been presented by His Majesty. the Kings of Spain in Granada.

Design, in BBVA's DNA

Design was introduced into BBVA primarily to improve solution delivery, especially in digital factories, key drivers of the company's digital transformation. The company-wide agile-creation culture led to the recruitment of designers and the implementation of design thinking. Large projects started to include designers in programs and scrums. 

But BBVA decided to go a step further and integrated design into the company's DNA. "The design team has become a driver of transformation on the strength of an ambitious design thinking training program for the whole organization. This program showed the importance of placing the client at the center and of using creative tools to offer new possibilities of understanding, creating concepts and prototypes and assessing products and services. More than 5,000 employees are applying what they learned and have an impact across the entire bank," explained David Puente. "Design has driven innovation within the bank, making processes more agile and facilitating business disruption and innovation."

According to David Puente, this ambitious program has had a really tangible result: "the radical transformation of user experience and the design of the solutions we're delivering to our clients, especially digital solutions.  This has translated into an improvement in digital sales as reflected in the company's P&L, an increase in satisfaction indices and an impact on our brand's value."

Next challenges

The future of design at BBVA is filled with new challenges. Firstly, the company has to improve its efficiency with the help of tools such as machine learning, so as to reduce recurring and repetitive tasks, "enabling team members to channel their efforts into going further than today" (David Puente).

Albeit it is hard to imagine how digital interfaces will evolve in the coming years, voice is expected to outweigh touch, especially in tasks where chatting is more natural than browsing, so "we use design to experiment and be disruptive in these areas," explained Puente.

Another priority is to extend its benefits to all territories where the bank is present: "For BBVA, it is essential to keep consolidating and expanding its design team in the different countries, especially in South America. Without their dedication, it will be hard to achieve complete overall transformation."

To conclude, David Puente has underscored the importance of design to prepare for a future where digital relationships will be even more channeled through data: "BBVA aims to support and facilitate our clients' decision-making, improving their financial health and helping them transform toward a more sustainable economy. To this end, we must promote the creation of data-based products, which allow us to devise custom experiences, able to understand the specific circumstances and enable anticipation and automation. And this is only possible if you combine the best of design, technology and data."

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