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Innovation Updated: 30 Jun 2018

BBVA Compass’ Pepe Olalla gives Bank Innovation a look at its Business Development team

BBVA Compass Head of Business Development Pepe Olalla recently spoke with Bank Innovation’s Tatjana Kulkarni in an interview posted in two articles, Zelle and Insurance on the Roadmap for BBVA Compass’s Mobile App and How the Innovation Team at BBVA Compass Focuses on Needs, Revenue.


In the articles, Olalla talks about the bank’s digital transformation and innovation efforts as seen through some of its core competencies. He also discusses with Kulkarni why the bank’s mobile app is among the most crucial of projects that his team oversees.

The bank’s mandate for profitability is brought on by growth, and mobile makes it easier to scale

“The mobile app is more important to us because we are a small bank,” Olalla said. “The bank’s mandate for profitability is brought on by growth, and mobile makes it easier to scale, and it’s much more cost-efficient. So, for us there is a double reason why it’s so important.”

Olalla also pointed to customer experience as a driver for the innovation his team seeks, explaining that when it comes to the technology that his team ultimately decides to work on, the customer and their needs are at the forefront of the decision making process.

He says his team “pays close attention to most common transactions that the bank’s customers use on Compass’s digital platform” then ranks the features, uses both customer feedback and bank research, as well as learnings from the bank’s subsidiaries in other markets before it decides what technology to tackle next.

When asked what he thought the future of banking would be, Olalla echoed BBVA Chairman Francisco Gonzalez in a recent Financial Times op-ed, pointing toward the bank’s use of data for the benefit of the customer.

Olalla said: “The future of banking is using data in a smart way within the bank, but also outside of the bank, being able to add services using machine learning to that data that are added value for the bank, but that ensures the owner of the data is always the customer. As a bank, we will be able to access that data only by getting the consent of the customer. That consent is going to be key. That’s the future of banking. And as a bank you need the consumer’s trust to close that cycle.”

To read the full versions of the articles, visit