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Banking 04 Mar 2014

Francisco González: "Knowledge Banking offers more and better solutions for our needs"

MIT Tech Review, the prestigious magazine from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has published an article by BBVA chairman Francisco González. The article talks about “knowledge banking: an industry able to provide us with far greater value, furnishing more and better solutions for our needs and effectively supporting economic development at the global level.”

Mr. González’s article in MIT Tech Review is called Banking, Information and Technology: towards Knowledge Banking. In his text he describes the way the internet is changing the economy, industrial sectors and business in general. “Practically every single business anywhere in the world is forced to cope with this information-driven revolution,” he added.

Mr. González talks about the principal changes affecting banking. He points out that “today it is increasingly common to use online payment mechanisms, execute money transfers using e-mail, manage one’s personal finances automatically using various software apps, or use one’s cell phone as a ‘purse’. There are even several online currencies.”

He goes on to examine the advantages of banks compared to new competitors such as Google, Facebook and Amazon. “Banks have a huge store of information about their customers and this is a crucial competitive edge. The challenge is to convert that information into knowledge, using it to offer customers what they want and customers are increasingly looking to their banks for new forms of value ¬– goods and services that meet their needs,” he explained.

Mr. González feels that “banks need a completely different platform concept developed from scratch. It must be able to integrate vast quantities of data with all possible points and channels of contact with all customers, seamlessly and without a break.”

He also underscored the importance of “open innovation models to overcome the existing limitations of an organization and attract the best talent.”

Furthermore BBVA’s chairman detects an opportunity for banks in this new scenario, in two ways: “first, it will bring in billions of people who have no access to financial services today. And second, banks will be able to extend their offerings beyond the financial domain.”

In conclusion he said “the conventional financial services industry is becoming what I call the ‘BIT’ industry (banking, information and technology). This is a staging post on the road to Knowledge Banking”. And in this process “BBVA is one of the leaders,” he says.

Mr. González’s article, published by MIT Tech Review is a summary of the article Knowledge Banking for a Hyperconnected Society, which is part of the book called Ch@nge: 19 Key Essays on How the Internet is Changing our Lives, the sixth installment in BBVA’s annual OpenMind series.

The other articles have been authored by distinguished experts from an array of disciplines related to Internet. The texts will be uploaded and available from now until April 8th, at bbvaopenmind.com. Starting April 9th, the book will for sale in bookstores in Spain and the U.S.

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