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Design Act. 16 Nov 2017

Designing better interactions


Design is a critical element to customer loyalty and getting it right is a key differentiator in business.

A week ago at the Monetary Authority of Singapore meeting, BBVA Chairman Francisco Gonzalez made the point that finally banks are facing the impact of technological revolution.

One of the opportunities this raises is the need for banks to meet the change underway in customer behaviour which technology is driving - to deliver smarter, innovative, and user friendly ways of accessing banking services.

The BBVA Executive Chairman made the point that “The transformation in banking, supported by technology, is equivalent to a structural reform that will bring enormous benefits for customers and a strong stimulus for investment and growth.”

Design will play a critical role in ensuring the continued relevance of banks

It is precisely here though that design will play a critical role in ensuring the continued relevance of banks, both with a view to meeting the challenge of the fintech startup community and increasingly the ways in which a bank can communicate with its customers.

Building confidence

BBVA Global Head of Customer Solutions Derek White outlined why this is important last week, as he addressed the bank´s senior design and marketers at a 2018 planning session at the company headquarters in Madrid.

White said: “Traditionally banks have measured their interactions with customers in terms of transactions. But this isn't enough going forward."

He explained that his view was that future success won’t just be about transactions, it will be about interactions and how customers perceive the banks as a source of trusted advice, of content, or information, and the ease with which they can access all of this.

He said: “If you get this element right, if you make your brand a more integral part of their lives in the way that the likes of Facebook has done, then rightfully they will trust you with their business too.”

For Rob Brown, BBVA’s Global Head of Design, Marketing and Responsible Business, it is the central focus of what his design team, headed up by newly appointed Head of Global Design Marga Barrera Cano, are working to achieve.

Our best tool

“This is the challenge that great design, and design thinking in particular, can help us solve, by ensuring we use technology in a way that is focussed on what the customer or client needs holistically - not just on a particular product or service.”

Barrera, who led the team that designed BBVA’s award winning mobile app in Spain - recently named by Forrester as the best banking app in the world - added: “Design is our best tool when it comes to growing customer interaction - that is the challenge for us.

“By making our interaction tools like our mobile apps amazing, connected spaces where customers get added value from visiting, we can build the trust that will build the business. “Sounds simple, but it's about all of BBVA working convergently and always putting the customer or client at the heart of what we do.”

Brown concluded that across the group BBVA is bringing new ways to interact with customers, from its MIA chatbot service in Turkey to improvements to BBVA Wallet in Spain, Peru and beyond.

We have to ensure that we are delivering for our customers in all their requirements

He said: “But the focus on all of these is increasing the value we add to our customers by bringing insights, advice and in some cases products to them when they need them - not when we want want to give them this stuff. Offering individual customers individual sources of content, tailored and relevant to their areas of interest, but done at scale.”

He said: “We have to ensure that we are delivering for our customers in all their requirements - the products and services are a big element of this, but equally important are things like user interface, intuitive design, access to advice and wider information about the issues that affect each and every customer and client.

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