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Opinion 10 September 2019

The challenge is turning innovation into a new strategic product that is profitable and has an impact on clients

Ricardo Laiseca is the Head of Global Innovation & Analytics at BBVA CIB, a business area that was recently created in the bank’s wholesale banking division. Its goal is to offer corporate clients a unique added value. In this column, Laiseca analyzes the transformation of the industry and explains the keys to BBVA’s strategy to boost innovation.

In a context like the present, in which it is increasingly more difficult to generate income, we are witnessing the rise of disruptive technologies that are constantly pushing wholesale clients to transform their businesses, forcing them to adapt to the different circumstances in the markets and to the new tools and work methodologies.

In this environment, innovation makes it possible to mitigate the risks while facilitating the search for new business opportunities, thus making it a fundamental factor to ensuring companies’ competitiveness. There’s no question that innovation is a must in order to be competitive.

There’s no question that innovation is a must in order to be competitive

At BBVA, we are joining forces to offer a unique added value through innovation. In other words, our goal is to remain a preferred bank for our clients. The challenge is turning innovation into a new strategic product that is profitable and has an impact on clients. And how do we intend to reach these goals? By using the following four pillars:

  • Increasing business digitization through the electronification of products and simplification of processes in order to make it easier for customers to contract our products and improve productivity. BBVA has set a goal of developing tools that offer clients dynamic pricing based on their needs, as well as expanding the number of digital wholesale products available on APIs.
  • Implementing the area’s data strategy, which is based on the use of advanced analytics. With the data the bank possesses, we aim to have an impact on our clients in two ways. First, by improving the services provided by creating business alerts that allow us to be more proactive with their needs. And second, by developing new solutions that help us to advise them better.
  • Fomenting product innovation. BBVA pursues constant innovation, in both the new products it offers and in the development of new platforms and technological solutions. One of its lines of action has been sustainable financing in both the loan and bond markets, in which BBVA has been a pioneer and a fundamental driving force in the industry. Furthermore, last year the bank took its goal of supporting corporate clients in their sustainable financing strategies one step further by developing a framework for sustainable transactional products tied to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals - unprecedented in the industry. Other examples that also illustrate BBVA’s fundamental commitment to technological innovation include: financing carried out through blockchain technology, which marked an international milestone; the recently created digital loans, or D-Loans; multicurrency financing; and flexible loans.
  • Developing corporate ecosystems. In the past, banks interacted exclusively with their clients’ core business. Today we have a much broader mission that involves engaging with the entire ecosystem for their business: clients, suppliers, employees, counterparts, fintechs, market infrastructure, supervisors and regulators. The different components of the ecosystem require different forms of collaboration and will call for BBVA to adapt to their needs.

Without a doubt, our main goal is to become the leading bank for our clients, who are the cornerstone of our business. At BBVA Corporate & Investment Banking, we have made innovation a top priority in each and every area in order to offer a unique added value and truly stand out from the competition.

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