BBVA’s digital transformation has always been as much about serving customer needs as it has been about securing the future of the bank. In fact the two are synonymous, by ensuring customers can bank when, where and how they want to - including on the device of their choice - BBVA is building a bank that better serves their needs.
The proof that this approach is a success is demonstrated by the uptake the business is seeing in its interaction models.
Take digital sales, for example, last month following on from the bank’s Q2 reporting, BBVA published how in the first six months of the year it had sold more than 10 million units through digital channels alone.
A month on, and that figure has increased to more than 12 million digital sales units - accounting for 38.7 percent of total sales. This percentage figure compares to 22.4 percent a year ago and just 14.6 percent two years ago.
It also shows the consistency with which customers are now using digital channels - predominantly now mobile app based, but including web and other mobile devices too - to do everything from check their balance, budget for the month and take on new products and services.
Growth has taken place in all of the geographical areas in the Group. In Spain, during the first six months of the year, 42.4 percent of the units sold were through digital channels compared to 24.9 percent a year earlier. In Mexico the figure was 32.7 percent up from 15.5 percent, in Turkey 40.6 percent versus 32.1 percent, in the United States 21.7 percent up from 17.9 percent, and in South America 51 percent compared with 22.9 percent a year earlier.
For BBVA, digitization is a mechanism to bring the age of opportunity to everyone. Accordingly, every quarter the bank improves the features and functionalities of its apps and creates new services to help users improve the decisions they make about their savings.
However one of the biggest challenges to doing just that has been the need to recruit high quality recruits into the areas of Design, Engineering, Data and Digital sales and marketing.
For example, in the areas of design, where dozens of banks and hundreds more companies are all looking to recruit the same high level designers, BBVA has also taken a different approach. Because as well as increasing the number of designers working across BBVA - currently several hundred and rising - the bank has also sought to bring other colleagues into the design fold.
This has been done in part by championing the integration of wider design thinking across the organisation, and supporting colleagues to understand and lead the process - something that has led to more than 1,500 design ambassadors now across the organization.
And this push towards design-thinking, customer-centric products and services has also been recognized by others. According to Forrester Research’s ‘The Forrester Banking Wave: European Mobile Apps – Q2 2018’, BBVA Spain’s app tops the European rankings with a score of 87/100. This is the highest ranking of the different studies of mobile banking apps in other regions that Forrester has carried out so far this year. Last year, BBVA obtained the top mark in the ‘European Mobile Banking Benchmark’ report by the same consulting firm.