Since landing in the United States in 2004, BBVA has heralded the impending arrival of banking’s digital revolution, even as it boldly proclaimed that it would lead the industry as it transformed.
Just 14 years later, the proclamations have come true, and recently reported numbers show the bank’s own transformation in countries around the globe is proceeding as planned. The bank’s subsidiary in the U.S. - BBVA Compass - is playing an increasingly outsize role in that transformation, with digital at the forefront of its own strategy for profitable growth.
The strategy, which calls for increased digital customer acquisition, leverages the bank’s prized - and highly awarded - mobile app to be one of the main platforms by which customers manage their financial journey. The app features an array of tools including its ‘green button’ which seamlessly allows customers to apply for and digitally obtain select other financial products and services.
Olalla: Our push to digital is because we believe that our customer’s experience with us is more satisfying when they have many channels at their disposal
“At the center of all we do is the customer,” said BBVA Compass Head of Business Development Pepe Olalla. “Our push to digital is because we believe that our customer’s experience with us is more satisfying when they have many channels at their disposal and by which we can help them facilitate their financial needs.”
It’s a strategy that is working. BBVA Compass has nearly doubled its digital unit sales from 2016 to 2017.
“We’ve spent many years building a strong digital foundation so we could perfect the channels through which customers interact,” Olalla said. “We’ve now transitioned to prioritizing resources so that customers can use those channels to fully manage their finances - from servicing to product purchase.”
With one full year under its belt, customer response as measured by sales of digital products has been overwhelmingly positive. Indeed, digital sales of the bank’s credit card products has shown steady increases over the course of 2017, from a paper application process in the first quarter to digital applications overtaking paper to finish the year.
The bank is also poised in 2018 to make its full entrance into the $1.3 trillion online consumer loan marketplace when it launches its digital Express Personal Loan (EPL) to customers and prospects across its footprint.
“The triple digit increases in digital sales for EPL from the beginning of 2017 to the end has been encouraging - and that’s with an application that’s presently only open to pre-qualified customers and prospects,” Olalla said. “We anticipate even better volume when we open the application across our footprint.”
Olalla: We know that we acquire more digital customers in proximity to branches, which says that trust is a major factor in digital sales
Olalla says as people who serve people, the importance of the bank’s burgeoning digital transformation can only be underscored by understanding the role the bank’s branches play in it.
“We know that we acquire more digital customers in proximity to branches, which says that trust is a major factor in digital sales,” he said. “Our in person channel will always be one of the keys to the success of our digital transformation - you just can’t beat face-to-face interaction, especially when it comes to matters concerning your money.”