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In the future, BBVA will be a software company - Francisco Gonzalez

05 March 2015  |  36451 views  |  7 Francisco Gonzalez, BBVA

Fresh from his forecasts last month that half of the world's banks would get left behind by the digital revolution in financial services, BBVA chairman Francisco González has mapped out a new future for his organisation, not as a bank, but as a software company.

González pointed out the dramatic impact that technology is having on the transformation of the financial sector during a speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

"BBVA will be a software company in the future,” González told the audience, recalling that the bank embarked on its "digital journey" eight years ago.

During this time it has made significant investment to build a new customer-centric technological platform, which operates in real time and is also modular and scalable. This platform allows BBVA to develop a new generation of services to compete with new startups and major digital companies, with the emphasis on mobile says González.

"The mobile has emerged as the driving force for disruptive innovation in banking," the BBVA chairman said.

The number of BBVA mobile customers has increased 14-fold in three years and totaled 4.3 million at the end of 2014.

González underlined the success of the bank's mobile payments app BBVA Wallet, which already claims over 450,000 downloads in Spain and is poised to be rolled out in Mexico, the US and Chile. "It's the world's most-used cloud-based NFC payment app," the BBVA chairman boasted.

The bank currently has 450 people working on the wallet, but this is just the beginning. Currently just 3000 of its 110,000 staff work on the digital side but in five years González reckons it will be a majority, as the company re-engineers its workforce to compete on equal terms with the likes of Apple, Samsung, Google and Amazon.

“There is a threat element which I like because banking needs competitors," said González. "We need to be more efficient but we can also collaborate with them.”

Comments: (7)

Paul Williams
Paul Williams - Chainsmiths - Dublin | 05 March, 2015, 11:50

"The bank currently has 450 people working on the wallet"

Somebody send this man a copy of  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mythical_Man-Month

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Dharmesh Mistry
Dharmesh Mistry - Temenos - Reading | 06 March, 2015, 08:28

In the future there will be more people sourcing, analysing, profiling DATA than writing code...

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James Piggot
James Piggot - Misys - London | 06 March, 2015, 09:29

González takes a radically different view to Botín on the future, based on what has happened elsewhere what are the chances of digital not causing massive disruption to Banks?

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 06 March, 2015, 09:38

BBVA as a software company? I guess the headline is a journalist pith but reflects that the management understands that technology is forcing them to change - or can be used proactively to bring the bank in the front seat. -But software company? I don't think so. Take wallet as an example. You can buy that - the 450 persons working on their wallet cannot possibly work on software.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 08 March, 2015, 13:38

A banker said to me last week when discussing such positions...yes, but why would someone invest in a bank as a technology company, when he could actually invest in a technology company?

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Dharmesh Mistry
Dharmesh Mistry - Temenos - Reading | 08 March, 2015, 13:57

I believe it's out of context, he means they will behave more like a software company...

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 09 March, 2015, 13:42

Happy to hear that!

So ECB, FED and all such, will become the biggest Software House regulators. Looking forward to receive their regulations on SW development :-)

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