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Coronavirus 25 Jun 2020

New software development processes guarantee BBVA's service quality during the pandemic

BBVA’s digital development strategy of the past several years is now strongly supporting the digital management of customers' finances. The implementation of agile work methodologies, DevOps practices—coordination across different teams throughout software development—and a global perspective were key for digital solutions to provide value and become scalable among business units and countries. Thanks to BBVA's commitment to technology and new ways of working, the bank was able to guarantee service quality, adapt its way of working—with 90% of employees working from home—and, at the same time, enhance its response capacity.

BBVA's commitment to developing data-based services is embodied in the more than 700 functions available to all users on the BBVA app, such as BBVA Valora or Mis Movimientos previstos. Leveraging these working methods, the bank can reduce time-to-launch for new solutions while offering high-quality service to all customers worldwide.

Specifically, more than 40 teams are working on developing website and app improvements. Since 2014, they do so using agile methodologies and a global perspective. The success of BBVA's digital applications would not be a reality without the transformation in the way we develop software.

The transformation was especially powerful over the past few weeks, and allowed teams to continue to work from home. At BBVA, this new way of working means interdisciplinary work between different areas and teams is key to finding and fixing bugs and errors more quickly. This improves the quality of the software and shortens the time needed to validate and release new versions of the application.

Automation and scalable cloud infrastructure

This work philosophy is not limited to software development with a view to the result or what the customer expects; it is also about delivering products and improvements faster and growing steadily. To achieve this, BBVA is implementing the DevOps methodology: a development culture based on team cooperation and automation of work within the project. A change of mindset in the way teams work.

This methodology is based on full automation, with a scalable cloud infrastructure, rapid construction and deployment processes and, above all, a battery of automated tests to ensure the final result is of high quality. DevOps tools help with tasks such as compiling code, checking code quality, performing unit tests, updating the working environment, new version alerts, etc.

Currently, the DevOps team for BBVA Spain's digital channels on the web and the BBVA app is running more than 17,000 hours of automated testing per month, with nearly 3.5 million tests. More than 200 code changes are being integrated with each version of the apps, enabling the bank to continue its transformation.

Secure infrastructure in the face of increasing digital channel usage

In recent months, BBVA has boosted use of its digital channels and enhanced their capacity to continue operating at 100% functionality. Specifically, the bank has more frequently rolled out versions of the website and the app without causing downtime, while the considerable increase in the use of digital channels was absorbed thanks to Amazon's secure and scalable cloud infrastructure (AWS).

Currently, one out of every three new customers choose digital channels to begin their relationship with BBVA. Giving them a quality service, providing them with the best features in a fast and secure way without hurting service features is the best credential to ensure a unique experience.