BBVA’s CEO recently spoke at the DeustoForum in Bilbao. Carlos Torres Vila discussed BBVA’s transformation strategy in front of an audience of the Basque business community and current Deusto University students and alumni. “In today’s world opportunities are digital. That’s why we focus on the digitization of our customers, providing channels that are always available and a simple, agile experience,” he maintained.
“At BBVA, we continue to be pioneers, anticipating the impact of technology on people’s lives and how businesses are run, and using this technology to benefit our customers,” said Carlos Torres Vila. BBVA’s CEO stressed the institution’s clear vision in this regard, with a strategy and structure that are aligned to achieve its purpose: “To bring the age of opportunity to everyone”.
At BBVA, we continue to be pioneers, anticipating the impact of technology on people’s lives and how businesses are run
The facts about BBVA’s transformation
The transformation process has palpable evidence, emphasized Carlos Torres Vila. The number of digital customers has increased exponentially in recent years, reaching 26 million in September 2018 - a 23 percent increase in one year. Digital customers now represent 49 percent of all customers, meaning that the goal of reaching 50 percent before the end of the year has practically been met. The number of customers who choose to do their banking on their smartphones has increased at an annual rate of 37 percent – 21.7 million at the end of September. BBVA expects mobile customers to reach 50 percent of the total in 2019.
Parallel to the increase in digital and mobile customers, digital sales jumped to nearly 40 percent in September 2018.
Digitization also increases the bank’s interactions with customers, which have doubled since 2016. “Our customers are more connected because they interact with us more,” declared the CEO. This is because mobile interactions take place on almost a daily basis. “The increase in mobile interactions allows us to have greater knowledge of our customers,” he said.
Our customers are more connected because they interact with us more. The increase in mobile interactions allows us to have greater knowledge of our customers
Furthermore, he noted that: “One of the benefits of digitization is that not only can customers purchase products online, but they are also more satisfied.” In fact, BBVA has the highest Net Promoter Score (NPS, which measures customer satisfaction) in the countries where it operates (Spain, Mexico, Turkey, Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela).
Evidence of the success of the bank’s transformation, he recalled, is the fact that the prestigious consulting firm Forrester Research has rated BBVA’s mobile banking app as the best in the world for the second year in a row. And Turkish bank Garanti’s mobile banking app is ranked second.
From left to right: Susana Rodríguez Vidarte, BBVA director; Carlos Gorria, BBVA head of the northern region; Juan María Aburto, mayor of Bilbao; José María Guibert, provost for the Universidad de Deusto; Carlos Torres Vila, BBVA CEO; Unai Rementeria, representative of Vizcaya; José Luis del Val, president of DeustoForum.
Building customer loyalty
Next, Carlos Torres Vila, stressed the role of banks as advisors. “Digitization provides a great opportunity to change the value proposition in order to help people make better decisions, anticipate problems, simplify money management and help them accomplish their goals in life or in business… This is having a positive impact on their lives,” he affirmed.
This is a value proposition based extensively on data. “Data are the key to creating opportunities because we can use data to draw personalized conclusions that help to improve decision-making,” he said. The CEO maintained that: “This creates an added value that fosters greater trust in BBVA among our customers.” This trust is very important because “BBVA’s access to customers’ data depends on consent. Customers own the information and they are the ones who have to give consent for us to use their data.” Therefore, trust is the foundation that opens the door to data by giving consent.
BBVA is currently offering a number of data-based solutions to help its customers in their everyday financial decisions, such as the data prediction tool, BBVA Valora or Valora View. In addition to the solutions created by the bank itself, Carlos Torres Vila underscored that: “BBVA is highly active in the innovation ecosystem. We promote development through incubation, investments and on occasion, through the acquisition of startups.”
The CEO also described the profound change taking place in the organization in order to make this transformation process possible. Some of the measures he mentioned include the dynamic allocation of resources based on strategic priorities and the introduction of new ways of working – especially the “agile” methodology – with quarterly deadlines and a flatter organizational structure.
He also recalled that BBVA launched the “Pledge 2025” in 2018, which consists of three main pillars: financing, which entails the mobilization of €100 billion in sustainable financing; the direct impact that BBVA has on the environment; and engaging all stakeholder groups to promote these sustainable principles.