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Finance> Financial system> Digital banking Updated: 16 Jul 2019

Digital drives success in Q3 results

The progress of BBVA´s digital transformation is continuing to drive the positive financial returns the business is seeing.


This was one of the key messages BBVA Group CEO Carlos Torres Vila shared during the bank's Q3 results presentation last week. Outlining the reasons the bank had seen continued positive financial results during the first nine-months of the year, the bank's Chief Executive explained how much of the positive performance in all its markets stemmed from the success of the transformation process itself.

For example, one of the elements highlighted in the results was the increasing take-up being seen in digital sales. The report noted how the percentage of sales now done via digital channels accounted for almost 40 percent of total sales - an increase of almost 15 percent on the previous year and more than 24 percent since September 2016.

But dig a little deeper into the figures and the trends driving the uptake also make for interesting reading and show the value digital DIY banking - where the customer can do things by themselves, wherever and whenever they want - gives, especially in terms of time saved.

Take, for example, consumer loans. Until around three years ago, if a customer wanted to borrow some money for something - say a fridge - they had to go to the bank in person and apply for a loan face to face. But enabling DIY for this service has made the process quicker and more convenient, and it is reflected in the figures the bank published last week. Across the group, 43 percent of consumer loans are now contracted through digital channels - compared with just 16.6 percent two years ago.

"Across the group, 43 percent of consumer loans are now contracted through digital channels"

It is the same for demand deposit services - where the number of digital applications has leapt from 6.4 percent in September 2016 to 30 percent in September this year.

The biggest growth, however, was in SME Loans - small and medium enterprise business lending - which rocketed from 0 percent two years ago, as it was unavailable - to 37.9 in just one year (having come onstream in 2017).

ventas digitales-productos-Q3-english-bbva

Digital sales by product.

Digital FX trading

This transformation in the way people bank is replicated in other areas too - one great example being the upturn the business has seen in FX trading since it implemented new digital trading platforms.

In Turkey, for example, the number of users of the bank’s digital FX platforms have grown by 1.4 times since this time last year; in Colombia it has grown by 2.7 times and in Peru by a massive 9.5 times.

"The revenue per customer increased with a 22 percent uplift in revenue per customer for a digital user"

What’s more impressive is that this uptake in service usage is translating directly into increased revenue generation. Across the Group Global FX Revenue has soared by +29 percent in the past 12 months, of which the contribution of digital platform FX revenue has increased by 70 percent.

In line with this, another area broken out by the bank as demonstrative of the benefits of ‘digitising’ customers and clients was the increase in product usage by customers using digital platforms. The example the bank gave was in Spain, where the number of products customers took up grew from an average of 3.5 for a non-digital customer, to 4.7 for digital customers. The revenue per customer also increased accordingly, with a 22 percent uplift in revenue per customer for a digital user.

A global and agile model

Equally, though, another important element driving these positive figures is the creation model which leads to the products and services being deployed in the first place. BBVA has talked in the past about its globally deployable Single Development Agenda, but the translation of that is now bearing fruits very rapidly.

Using the digital FX platform outlined above as an example: The platform was first brought to the market in Mexico earlier in the year, but its rollout into Peru - its second market - happened with a 25 percent reduction in time thanks to the elements of the platform already having been built - meaning the business in Peru could take them off the shelf and deploy them for customer significantly faster.

When it came to the third market - Colombia - that deployment time sped up even further - with a 50 percent improvement in time to market.

Commenting on the results, Derek White, BBVA’s Global Head of Client Solutions, said: “The digital transformation of the bank bring with it huge advantages for customers and clients, but also colleagues and the wider business too.

“It’s about making things easier to do, more convenient, with more functions and with a better customer centric design - and we are seeing this reflected in the ways with which people interact and bank with us.

“Going forward, as we increase the personalised advice and services we offer - and as we continue to build globally at speed and at scale - the ways in which we can help people better manage their finances and their data are going to dramatically improve.”