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Current news 18 Sep 2019

BBVA USA August Recap: Community investment, retail banking and small business

  • Community Investment: BBVA and the Montrose Center, along with Houston community leaders, break ground on an affordable, LGBTQ-affirming independent senior living center.
  • Retail Banking: BBVA USA Retail Banking Head Çağri Süzer highlights why branches and digital are complementary forces for the bank.
  • Small Business: BBVA and the Houston Dynamo announce their annual small business contest.

In August, BBVA USA continued its commitment to community investment, announcing and celebrating the groundbreaking of the Montrose Center's Law Harrington Senior Living Center, an affordable, LGBTQ-affirming independent senior living center slated to open in Houston's Third Ward community in 2021. The bank is helping to finance the project.

Also in August, BBVA USA Retail Banking Head Çağri Süzer shared why branches are important in the digital age of consumer banking. Süzer has made significant strides in transforming the bank's branch network, ensuring the 4,000-person team has a laser focus on embracing digital banking.

Last month, commitment to small business continued to be a priority for BBVA USA as well, with the bank and the Houston Dynamo announcing their annual small business contest for the fourth consecutive year. This year, the contest, Launchpad, creates the opportunity for Houston-area startups to garner funding in order to become digitally innovative. In June, BBVA USA and Birmingham Legion FC launched the first edition of the Launchpad competition for Birmingham-area entrepreneurs, and last month announced art and cultural conservation startup Conserv as the contest's winner.

Presented below are other articles and news from August 2019 that were posted on the bank's online newsroom; global media platform,; and financial education blog, MoneyFit.

Corporate News

BBVA will offer digital customer onboarding everywhere it operates by the end of 2019
By year's end, users across BBVA's operating footprint, including BBVA USA, will be digitally onboarded to adopt biometric identification technologies. Digital components have been designed to adapt to the verification requirements in each market.

Second year of BBVA Music Sessions starts fast in Houston with acclaimed singer-songwriter Alec Benjamin, along with special guest, MAX
For the second year, BBVA USA is collaborating with entertainment company AEG Worldwide and its digital ticketing provider, AXS, to bring the bank’s concert series to its markets and to connect emerging musicians with communities throughout its footprint.

Responsible Business

The Montrose Center breaks ground on Law Harrington Senior Living Center
The Montrose Center and BBVA USA – along with Houston community leaders, including Mayor Sylvester Turner – recently broke ground on the Law Harrington Senior Living Center, an affordable, LGBTQ-affirming independent senior living center in Houston's Third Ward neighborhood. The bank is helping to finance the project, which is slated to open in 2021.

Reymundo Ocañas, BBVA USA director of communications and responsible business, spoke on the financial challenges of LGBTQ seniors during the groundbreaking ceremony of Montrose Center's Law Harrington Senior Living Center in Houston on August 6.

Volunteerism Can Impact Employee Health and Well-being in a Positive Manner
The main goal of volunteering is to help others, but it turns out volunteers also benefit from their charitable activities. Over the years, many studies have shown volunteers experience greater fulfillment, better health, and improved overall well-being. Companies, like BBVA, have positioned their volunteer programs to benefit all stakeholders: the community, the volunteers and the business.

Since 2016 BBVA has allocated €43 million in support of social enterprises, volunteering, and the promotion of corporate responsibility
Since 2016, BBVA has allocated €43 million in support of social enterprises, volunteering, and the promotion of corporate responsibility across its global footprint. In 2018 alone, the bank invested €12.4 million in social and responsible banking initiatives.

Small Business

New Launchpad contest to reward digitally innovative small business, courtesy of BBVA and Houston Dynamo
For the fourth consecutive year, the Houston Dynamo and BBVA USA rolled out their annual small business contest for Houston-area entrepreneurs, with this year becoming the first aimed at helping startups garner funding in order to become digitally innovative.

Birmingham startup Conserv chosen as winner of Launchpad Contest from BBVA USA and Birmingham Legion FC
In June, BBVA USA launched the first edition of its small business contest, Launchpad, with Birmingham Legion FC, focusing on Birmingham-area startup businesses that needed a financial boost to become digitally innovative. As the winner, Conserv, a startup focused on preventive art and cultural conservation through innovative technology, received the grand prize of $2,500 and consultations with Legion FC and BBVA USA executives.

How small businesses can utilize social media marketing
When it comes to customer engagement and revenue growth, digital presence is important. BBVA USA  Digital Sales Head Santiago Lopez Heredia explains why entrepreneurs should integrate a social media strategy into their small business plan.

What it takes to be a restaurant franchise owner
We highlight five of the largest fast food franchises in the United States, according to QSR magazine, and what it takes to grab a hold of one.

Digital Banking

BBVA USA Retail Banking: Blending the best in branches and digital
BBVA USA Retail Banking Head Çağri Süzer is a millennial who believes in the importance of branches in the digital age. In his most recent Q&A, Süzer highlights why branches and digital are complementary forces when it comes to consumer banking.

BBVA USA Head of Retail Banking Çağrı Süzer moderated the bank's 2018 Mid-Year Retail Summit. In 2018, BBVA USA's retail banking unit, a 644-branch network, achieved its best year ever – it doubled customer growth, achieved record profits, ramped up productivity, improved workflow, topped NPS levels and tripled in-branch mobile banking demos.

Not the same: Open Banking, Open APIs and Banking as a Service
Open banking, open APIs and Banking as a Service all relate to a singular concept of giving third parties access to the bank’s data and/or functionality to build new or different experiences and products for customers. However, the three terms are not interchangeable.

What is mobile banking and top 5 reasons to use it
It's hard to believe there was a point when conducting at least some transactions by phone didn't exist. For some people, mobile banking could still be considered a relatively new phenomenon.

Is mobile banking safe?
Mobile banking users can increase the security of each interaction by saying "no" to public wi-fi and browsers and "yes" to software updates, multi-factor  authentication and account monitoring.

"Digital is not the end of asset managers"
BBVA USA’s Asset Management team works closely with clients to develop a custom, discretionary asset management strategy. As technology advances, so does the team’s capabilities in helping clients achieve their financial goals and protect and grow client assets.


BBVA Research publishes commentary on U.S. policy and climate change
The U.S. is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. In this publication, BBVA Research highlights how politics, changing demographics, and private sector and subnational players are framing the issue of climate change in the U.S.

Workplace and Culture

How tech careers can thrive in banking
LEAP Tech, the bank’s innovative development program for new college graduates in STEM fields, just promoted its first class of recruits into full-time positions within the bank, in a variety of positions ranging from cybersecurity to software development.

Resource Articles

When to consider adding or replacing a credit card
It makes sense to scrutinize your current card to ensure that you have the best card for your needs and that you're maximizing its benefits. However, in today's competitive world of sign-up bonuses, ever-improving rewards programs and special rate offers, sticking to one card could cause you to miss out on some valuable opportunities.

According to a survey by, Americans don't switch credit cards often. In fact, 25 million have used the same credit card for a decade, while another 20 million have never changed their go-to card.

Should you pay tuition with a credit card?
College is expensive, and many families struggle to find ways to pay for their children's post-secondary education. Some turn to student loans while others tap into the equity in their home to cover the costs. But today, many schools accept credit cards for tuition, and if done strategically, it can be a convenient and rewarding way to pay.

A brief history of credit cards
While paying with plastic might seem very modern, the idea behind it has been around for quite a long time. As early as the 1860s, department stores issued coins stamped with account numbers to make it easier for customers to make purchases on their store charge accounts. These coins soon became charge plates, the predecessors of the modern-day credit card.

Personal loans: By the numbers
New data has surfaced regarding personal loans and consumer habits. According to, personal loans are the fastest growing form of consumer lending. That has resulted in a whopping 18 percent growth in just one year.

Downsizing: The pros and cons of a 55+ community
The smaller space and minimal upkeep of a home in an active-adult community may sound very appealing, but you might be nervous about a hefty homeowner's association (HOA) fee and your ability to resell the home if you want or need to move. In this article, we provide some pros and cons of active adult communities to help you make the best possible decision about this very important move.

Downsizing: Is a Tiny House Right for You?
So, the kids are raised, the nest is empty and now it's time to downsize. While there are benefits to going super-small, and you may be charmed by the idea of a tiny-house life, it's a dramatic leap and one you should carefully consider before taking. In this article, we highlight the benefits and downsides of tiny-home living.

Podcast: "Digital chaos for teachers" can be cured
The Mind Bank, the bank’s monthly podcast, takes a look at how digital learning has evolved over the course of recent memory, what challenges it can pose, and how implementing digital has enhanced the overall educational experience.

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