Spanish bank BBVA has set its sights on building "the best digital bank of the 21st century", according to remarks by chairman Fransisco Gonzalez at the company's annual shareholder meeting in Bilbao.
In his presentation, Gonzalez focused on the transformation of BBVA to anticipate the impact that the technological revolution will have on the banking industry.
“The financial industry has lagged behind, but we see new competitors popping up in many segments of the banking value chain,” he explained.
Eight years ago, BBVA started to build its new technological platform, giving the bank “a big edge over the vast majority of banks,” said Gonzalez. The platform now processes 350 million transactions a day, a figure that will reach 1 billion in 2017.
Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this month, Gonzalez forecast that in the future, BBVA will be a software company, an objective which he reinforced during his set-piece speech to shareholders.
In 2014, he told the meeting, BBVA set up a Digital Banking unit to accelerate its transformation and make “BBVA a totally digital company, including all its products and services, and with our over 100,000 employees working digitally.”
Gonzalez also mentioned other technological milestones, such as the launching of BBVA Data & Analytics, a big data company that specialises in developing knowledge-based digital businesses; the investment in BBVA Ventures, a $100-million dollar VC fund that has already funded 10 startups in the fin-tech sector; and the acquisition of innovative companies, such as Simple or Madiva.
He said the digital transformation will be at an advanced stages within two years.
“We are already leaders. Our goal is to keep working to hold on to and increase our lead," he said. "Sooner than later, while achieving bigger and better results, the market will start to factor this advantage into our stock price.”