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Bank services Updated: 19 Dec 2017

BBVA reaches digital tipping point in Spain

BBVA has reached an important milestone in its continued drive towards technology focussed banking, with a key digital tipping point reached in Spain.

In October the bank in Spain passed the 50% mark in terms of the percentage of its Spanish customer base now engaging with the bank via digital channels.

In fact, across its wider business, six of BBVA's 11 core countries have now passed this tipping point, with the USA, Turkey, Argentina, Chile and Venezuela also past the 50% mark.

In Spain specifically, the use of digital channels to access banking services has grown by more than 17% in the last 12-months alone. Meanwhile the figures for customers accessing by mobile has also soared - rising by 30% in the last year.

Across the whole Group, the digitally active customer base has grown by 24% since this time last year, demonstrating the ongoing change in behaviour the ubiquity of online access is bringing.

For BBVA is a clear justification of the Group's focus on building the best digital banking services on the market. That drive was recognized again this week after consultancy firm Forrester named BBVA Spain as leading the rest of Europe when it came to online services.

BBVA’s Turkish bank Garanti was also ranked second, on a list that analysed 13 top European banks including those in the UK, France, Turkey and the Netherlands. BBVA Spain’s online banking received a final score of 90 points out of 100 – 15 points above the European average of 75.

BBVA's Head of Business Development in Spain, Peio Belausteguigoitia said: "The adoption of digital banking services and digital channels in Spain continues to grow quickly, and is an example of the changing patterns with which people use technology now to manage their lives and achieve their goals. At BBVA we are totally focused on building the absolute best digital banking platforms anywhere in the world, and the awards we are now seeing coupled with the ever increasing usage from our customers shows we are on the right path and that we have the expertise needed to deliver."

Forrester reports that “BBVA creates value for online banking customers with outstanding money movement tools, strong marketing and sales functionality, sophisticated money management, budgeting and advice services – all tightly integrated on the secure website.” BBVA is the first bank to reach a score of 90 – the highest score ever given by the consulting firm in this category.

Earlier this year, Forrester also named BBVA as having the best mobile banking app in the world, beating off competition from dozens of banks in dozens of countries.

Continuous improvement

BBVA continues to increase the use of digital channels and currently has 21.5 million digital customers around the world – of which 16.5 million use mobile devices to do their banking. Similarly, digital sales are growing at a robust pace in all of the bank’s locations. At the end of September, 25.4% of the BBVA Group’s sales took place on digital channels – up from 16.8% in 2016.

Speaking at a conference earlier this week, BBVA’s CEO Carlos Torres Vila outlined how BBVA's digital strategy was central to the bank’s overall strategy. He explained how BBVA was one of the first financial institutions in the world to realize how profoundly technology would change the business and so it committed to delivering the technological tool this new social reality demanded.

He added: “At BBVA we grow digital sales and interaction by putting more online, and more capabilities at the disposal of our customers.”

BBVA also recently received two awards from The Banker magazine, as part of its 2017 Banks of the Year Awards. BBVA Bancomer was selected as the Best Bank in Mexico, while Garanti won the title of Best Bank in Turkey.

In the citations for the win, The Banker noted that in Mexico, digital efforts are at the cutting edge of banking services, and are leading to interesting products and growth in BBVA Bancomer’s local markets.

Meanwhile, in Turkey, The Banker said: “Garanti has invested in technological innovation and is intensely focussed on digital channels. The Bank’s mobile app includes innovations like iris identification or cash withdrawal with a QR code.”