The digital transformation of BBVA Continental
Reality shows that the digital path is the future of global banking. It is obvious that the creation of products and services aimed at a new generation of increasingly sophisticated and demanding consumers from the technological point of view cannot be postponed. These consumers are used to finding products on multiple channels, in real time and with innovative content. In this context, BBVA Continental started a decade ago a process that has been boosted by the new Digital Banking area, which is speeding up the transformation process, seeking to reduce the customer's effort in each interaction and reform the internal processes, making them increasingly flexible and simple.
“There are more and more customers who communicate with us via digital channels and we intend to serve them and offer them the same thing they are offered by branch offices. In fact, BBVA Continental has already developed a series of digital products such as consumer loans, salary advances, line increases, credit cards, insurance and mutual funds”, explains Samuel Sánchez, BBVA Continental's Digital Banking Manager.
Rather than an alternative channel, Digital Banking involves taking the physical world of banking to the intangible virtual world. The aim must be to cover all services and products in both worlds, both traditional and virtual.
In Peru, banking customers do not want to waste their time, they are impatient, they want their bank to resolve their issues swiftly and smoothly, without too much paperwork or procedures. Today, technology makes it possible to do incredible things for improving customer experience. Along this line, offering products and services through digital platforms generates a more gratifying experience for customers because they "understand themselves" and the effort is reduced.
In this regard, the catalog of products that can be bought online continues to grow in BBVA Continental and, at global level, the Group already has very powerful features in place, such as BBVA Wallet, which is like carrying a wallet on the cell phone, eliminating plastic credit cards. There is no doubt that in the near future BBVA Wallet will arrive in Peru, along with other features that will revolutionize the local market.
Today, the Al Toque credit card is one of the products that has attracted the most attention and interest. A card whose main virtue is speed. It can be requested in 44 seconds and it shortens the usual delivery time from 5 days to just 24 hours. According to the Digital Banking manager, Samuel Sánchez, applying for and approving the card over the Internet avoids the unnecessary paperwork associated with document submission and verification. All this while complying with the security mechanisms in place for customer authentication, whether through fingerprint verification or locating the address on Google and sending the contract virtually.
BBVA Continental is also promoting this automation internally. To handle processes and information, the bank is working on projects such as commercial intelligence, data analytics and handling massive volumes of information. The aim of all this is to implement exclusive and specific projects for each user and customer segment served by the bank. “We are in a new environment that requires that we place the customer at the core of everything we do, and technology is one of the key levers for addressing this transformation process”, says Samuel Sánchez.
The bank's digital transformation also involves thinking about how to do things differently inside the organization. “It might sound like a cliché, but that is what we are doing now, speeding up change with the support of all the areas and units in the bank. Competition in digital banking is not confined to other banks, but also includes new virtual players that are entering the world of means of payment and financial services. Fintech companies providing financial services through technology have a great potential that we are also exploring as a bank in Peru and as a Group at the global level”, claims Sánchez.
This for the time being. The idea is to grow at the speed required by technological change. It is not only a matter of identifying the changes in the modern world, but also of the ability to adapt to them. BBVA Group's Group Executive Chairman, Francisco González, has a clear idea of what the challenge involves: “At BBVA we have come a long way and we believe that we are in a position to lead the transformation of the financial industry and become the first knowledge-based bank”.
The ways of the conventional world are being left behind, and what science and technology offer are information routes that make life more bearable in a world that is undergoing an unprecedentedly swift transformation. “We are witnessing the emergence of Big Data technology, the Internet of Things is taking off and Artificial Intelligence is still in the early stage. We are therefore competing in a race that has no finish line or predetermined route. Not even a set of rules to guide us in our efforts”, reflects González.
The future is here and BBVA Continental has all the strengths needed to become a digital benchmark in the Peruvian financial system.