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Banking Updated: 23 Dec 2015

Francisco González: "Investing in the digital ecosystem is investing in our future"

BBVA chairman stated this morning that “investing in the digital ecosystem is investing in our future.” Francisco González is taking part in the Wired Money 2015 summit, held at the British Museum in London, together with prominent figures of the digital ecosystem who are transforming the financial industry.

Francisco Gonzalez-Wired Money July 2015

Francisco González, who started his career as an IT programmer before venturing into the world of finance, considers himself an advocate of technology as a driver of improvement in people’s lives. “Digital change is transforming financial services for the benefit of customers worldwide," he said.

During his speech the BBVA chairman focused on how the banking industry is tackling the digital transformation and addressed BBVA’s strategy in this new context. He said that smartphone ubiquity has transformed customer expectations, who now want their banks to provide real-time interaction, enabling a convenient, personalized and transparent relationship. Francisco González also referred to the new wave of digital rivals offering simple and low-cost financial products and services, who are reinventing user experience, although they still remain on the fringes of the financial system.

In his opinion, “only a few incumbents will be at the center of this new ecosystem,” and BBVA will be one of them. The bank's new IT platform, built from scratch, is capable of processing over 400 million real-time transactions per day. This figure is expected to grow to 1.4 billion per day by 2020, according to Francisco González. The platform also enables open innovation and interactions with talent outside the bank to develop a better value proposal for the customer.

The BBVA chairman also pointed out the increase in the number of customers interacting with the bank through digital channels. They now account for 26% of clients’ interactions, with 13.3 million clients, of which 6.7 million are mobile banking customers. “We are working to ensure users can manage their relationship with the bank in the way that’s most convenient for them,” he added.

Francisco González also underscored BBVA Ventures’ role investing in the startups transforming the financial industry. This San Francisco-based VC project has already invested in a number of companies, such as Coinbase, the most popular Bitcoin transaction platform. Other investments include Prosper, Personal Capital, Taulia, DocuSign, SumUp, and VC funds Ribbit Capital and 500 Startups.

BBVA has collaborated with Wired, the world’s most influential technology publication, in the organization of the Wired Money 2015 event, held at the British Museum, which has gathered the key figures that are pushing the boundaries and revolutionizing the financial services industry.