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Opinion 01 April 2019

The world is shrinking, but global creation at BBVA is growing

“BBVA believes its future lies in transitioning to a digital bank and ultimately a digital company most likely operating in a decentralised global economy”. Rob Brown, Global Head of Marketing, Design and Responsible Business in BBVA, exposes in this article his vision on the global future of BBVA.

There are a lot of meaningful words in that sentence - words that have a significant bearing on how BBVA intends to strengthen its position and better serve its customers, colleagues and clients. But let's start with these two - digital and global.

Digital matters to the business because BBVA firmly believes technology is an enabler for social good. As a business, BBVA has invested significantly - both financially and in resources like time and human commitment - into how it can utilise the latest technologies to support those that bank with it.

The BBVA statement of intent around bringing the age of opportunity to everyone is heavily influenced by how we can use technology to do this. For example BBVA’s award winning mobile banking app - it didn’t win global mobile banking app of the year just because it looks amazing and it can show you your balance.

"BBVA actively helps its customers manage their finances in a more effective and efficient way"

It’s the result of BBVA firstly really understanding its business - for example there are 973 'things' that people want to do with their bank - something very few other banks have ever even tried to map out. Secondly, it is about moving as many of these as possible onto our mobile platforms, and iterating the way they operate, constantly rebuilding, improving, asking for customer feedback.

Next it is about anticipating what customers need and building this into it - for example with Bconomy - where we predict your financial health for the month ahead based not just on your own data, but on data from customers around the world that are similar to you. The output being that BBVA actively helps its customers manage their finances in a more effective and efficient way giving people back time, reducing money-related stress and ultimately supporting their decision making to save them money.

From BBVA to the world

But the real magic comes when you then take this app, and make it available to all BBVA´s customers across the world - which brings us to the second word, global.

Because for BBVA to achieve its ambition of operating as a truly global digital company it needs to shift the way it operates towards the kind of global, homogeneous way of working that digital companies already do.

Amazon or Google or Facebook or Netflix´s customers have the same experience with them whichever country they are in - and that is absolutely right. In a global digital world, geographic borders should not limit how good a service you receive it should be the opposite actually. In banking, the vast majority of customers want to do the same kind of things. And as we move towards being more involved in people's lives,connecting them deeper with their data to sync their financial and non-financial data and make it work harder for them , and increasingly through closed to open, decentralised principles (where you connect the customers as much as you serve them directly), this need becomes even more acute.

"BBVA will ensure its brand and logo are optimised for the digital world"

And that is increasingly what BBVA is doing through its Single Development Agenda programme - products like the global mobile app it launched in Mexico last year, or it’s FX trading platform, or BBVA Invest or BBVA´s international work in the invisible payments space.

However as well as delivering tangible benefits for customers, BBVA also gets benefits too - wider data sets so it can better understand those it serves, efficiencies of scale, more insight into how it operates.

Going forward, BBVA will work harder to be even more global - including looking at elements like how it positions itself externally. Just as truly global brands already do, BBVA will ensure its brand and logo are optimised for the digital world its customers, clients and colleagues increasingly use to interact with it.

Ultimately, it is about being the best and most relevant partner for everyone who works, banks or partners with BBVA wherever they happen to be in the world and however they most want to interact with is.

But what is clear is that as the world changes, so too must BBVA if we are to deliver on our purpose of Creating Opportunities.