When considering the effects of the digital revolution on our industry, it is easy to fixate on the challenges and opportunities recent changes present for banks. Many of the previous posts in this series look at how retail banks are using digital tools to break new ground on these issues.

Yet it is important to remember that digital change reaches outside of banks too. It reshapes the lives of customers in ways that are not always welcome.

“We live in a complex world, challenging times. No one likes banking,” said Gabriel González Gil, deputy head of digital sales for BBVA, at the Efma-Accenture Distribution & Marketing Innovation Awards last year in Rome. “Money has become the number one worldwide cause of stress.”

BBVA, founded over 160 years ago in Spain and now a true global giant with more than 70 million customers and 134,000 employees, has undoubtedly played a role in that development. Over the last five years, the bank has been changing its culture and applying data science to act like a “mature company with the energy of a startup,” in Gil’s words.

“We from BBVA have to really come with banking solutions that solve these problems for the people and empower them to make the best decisions,” he said at the awards. “The whole organization has to have… a human approach.”

To achieve this, BBVA identified six strategic priorities that align with this purpose: a new standard in customer experience, digital sales, new business models, optimized capital allocation, unrivaled efficiency, and a first-class workforce. The bank is also committed to becoming a world-leader in data science to aid its efforts.

After years of hard work, the plan is paying off, as BBVA’s application stood out above all others in the extremely competitive Global Innovator, Established Player category at the awards. Notable successes from the last year include the bank’s open API platforms, which provide powerful financial tools to companies of any size to help them innovate.

BBVA places a strong emphasis on innovation at every level of the company, according to Gil.

“Innovation has to be in the DNA of the company,” he said. “You cannot have an innovation department, keeping the rest of the organization outside of innovation. You never know what’s going to be the next step. But you really need to be there.”

From this commitment to innovation, BBVA won the Global Innovator, Established Player category at the Efma-Accenture 2017 Distribution & Marketing Innovation Awards.

To learn more about BBVA’s approach to innovation, watch the video below.

Come back next time for a look at the winner of the Digital Marketing award.

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