Francisco González: "BBVA wants to be a truly digital house”
BBVA’s Global Executive Chairman says that the global financial system will experience a major overhaul that will drastically reduce the number of institutions from the current 20,000 to no more than a few dozen players. “BBVA will be one of them,” he indicated, adding that, “BBVA wants to be a truly digital house.” He also recalled that it’s important to “master the exponential technologies such as the cloud, AI, and big data” in order to be a player in this new league.
Francisco González participated in The Global Fintech Revolution, an expert panel organized by Business Insider where he analyzed the fintech phenomenon together with Ant Financial CEO Eric Jing; PayPal CEO Dan Schulman; Deputy Governor of Sweden’s central bank Cecilia Skingsley; and President of Financial and Risk at Thomson Reuters David Craig. The debate was moderated by Business Insider CEO and Editor-in-Chief Henry Blodget.
BBVA’s Global Executive Chairman predicted that over the next 15 years, technologies like blockchain will become standard and mastering artificial intelligence and data is what will set institutions apart. “Artificial intelligence, together with big data, are the real game changer,” he noted. Francisco González explained that by having the data and converting it into information that can be used to predict changes in customers’ finances, for example, it is possible to be much more helpful and relevant.
BBVA’s Global Executive Chairman feels that it’s an “exciting” time. He recalled that the Group began its transformation very early on and has been working to build a digital, agile and efficient house for the past ten years.
BBVA Chairman Francisco González during 'The Global Fintech Revolution' Panel, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan 19, 2017.
When asked about the difference between his institution and startups, Francisco González said that startups only work on one part of the value chain, like payments, for instance, while “BBVA is a universal bank, with services like deposits, mortgages and funds, and more importantly, with a more important and broad relationship with our clients.”
In this regard, Francisco González indicated that following the first technological phase (customer-oriented platforms in real-time), we are now entering a second phase of transferring to the cloud and creating a single platform for the whole world. “BBVA is creating new breed of professionals, integrating the best of banking and the best digital and preparing the new financial system.” BBVA’s Global Executive Chairman also explained that the numbers show that customer satisfaction has increased with digitization. They are extremely satisfied and more loyal.
“BBVA is creating new breed of professionals, integrating the best of banking and the best digital and preparing the new financial system
Francisco González also stressed the importance of regulation because it can “accelerate or hold back the transformation”. He indicated that regulators will help shape the future of financial services by regulating innovation and customer rights, and they will need people who understand these new technologies.
And regarding fintech startups’ potential to cause a systemic crisis in the future, BBVA’s Global Executive Chairman underscored that they make up a very small part of the financial system at the moment, but insisted that “regulators must be alert to their evolution”.
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