World Finance magazine has named BBVA as Spain’s best digital bank and the bank with the best app in its ‘World Finance Digital Banking Awards 2018.’ The awards single out those companies that are successfully tackling industry challenges and “driving the digital revolution with dynamic business strategies and groundbreaking technologies.”
The magazine also named BBVA Bancomer (in Mexico) and Garanti, BBVA’s franchise in Turkey, as the best digital banks with the best apps of the year for their regions. World Finance used this award to recognize the two banks for the second consecutive year. The publication had identified BBVA Bancomer and Garanti Bank in 2017 for their progress implementing digital banking.
The prestigious magazine emphasizes that technology has brought sweeping changes to the way companies are created and run. These changes have had an even greater pace of change in the banking industry in recent years.
Artificial Intelligence and blockchain
The publication recalls that during 2016 and 2017, BBVA’s businesses had greater awareness of the opportunities represented by technology such as the impact of artificial intelligence and chatbots on its customer relationships, or using blockchain to simplify processes and services. The magazine points out that “blockchain could also benefit cross-border payments.”
BBVA was the first bank in Spain to launch chatbots in Facebook Messenger and Telegram, which it did in 2017. Thanks to artificial intelligence, it was able to develop its intelligent virtual assistant, BBVA Smart Assistant, to be compatible with devices such as Google Assistant and Google Home, which earned it recognition from the web magazine, ‘Planeta Chatbot.’
In 2018, BBVA also completed a number of blockchain-powered transactions. The most recent occurred in December, when BBVA and Porsche Holding Salzburg, the largest automotive distributor in Europe and subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, closed a €150 million loan – made on the back of this exponential technology – to finance strategic acquisitions in the retail distribution network in Europe and Asia.
This transaction joins, among others, the first blockchain-powered syndicated loan agreed with Red Eléctrica Corporación or the revolving credit facility closed last year with Repsol using DLT (distributed ledger technology), both represent groundbreaking pilots in the area of corporate finance.
Next generation apps
Once again, mobile banking apps took center stage among the products and services offered by digital industry players. In fact, BBVA Group received three awards – in three of its most important markets – for the functionality it offers its customers via its mobile applications. According to ‘World Finance’ BBVA Spain has the best mobile app of the market, a recognition the Group also received from Forrester Research in its annual assessment of mobile banking applications.
BBVA also secured the award for the best mobile app in Turkey, where Garanti Cep continues to be the undisputed leader with the best UX, providing access to the greatest range of products and financial services. Garanti's app recently launched a new functionality. Lastly, BBVA Bancomer’s mobile banking app also took the top spot in Mexico.
The Mexican app is the first one built on BBVA's new global development platform, unifying user experience in all countries with a single design and navigation logic, adapted to meet the financial needs of customers in each geographical area.