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Banking on BBVA’s bold new future

How the global bank became one of the most innovative and efficient in the world


Building the foundation for reinvention

Rewriting the rules of banking is no easy feat, but Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) is leading the charge. Since 2007, the bank has invested heavily in cloud, data and AI to create a more frictionless customer experience. The result? Significant growth in new customers and revenue, as well as improved efficiency and profitability. In 2022, BBVA posted a $6.89 billion profit—the highest earnings in its history.

Developed with Accenture, BBVA’s early digital strategy paved the way for an enterprise-wide reinvention. Today, the bank has established new performance frontiers:

  • While the process can take days at other banks, BBVA onboards clients in mere minutes using AI-based facial recognition and text analytics to verify applicants via its mobile app.

  • BBVA offers “one-click loans,” which provide personalized and contextual pre-approved loans and potential same-day funding for both customers and non-customers.

  • The bank’s cost-to-income ratio (CIR) is 43%—far below the European average of 60%.

Cashing in on digital

These results wouldn’t be possible had BBVA not consistently invested in its digital capabilities, harnessing the power of cloud to put data at the center of every application and process. Early on, the bank evolved from simply offering digital services to developing and selling new digital banking products. At the same time, the use of bank-wide data and predictive analytics delivers a holistic view of the profitability and likely behavior of every customer.

With its strong digital core, BBVA can leverage the most innovative technologies. Currently, the bank is using Amazon Web Services to create a new data platform that will provide all business units with a unified view of their data.

BBVA also uses advanced data analytics to offer leading financial health tools such as BBVA Valora, which provides users with recommended purchase or rental prices for a specific property. Two out of three mortgages sold by BBVA are to customers that used BBVA Valora.

Empowered employees, a thriving organization

Talent strategy has also been central to BBVA’s success. The bank has designed a global reskilling and upskilling program to help its workforce keep up with technology-driven change. Its vast training ecosystem teaches people new strategic skills across data, cybersecurity, digital sales and marketing, and more. This investment has positioned BBVA to capitalize on rapidly emerging technologies and to continue leading the way in the banking industry.

BBVA also wanted to ensure that its teams were flexible and adaptable enough to navigate a constantly evolving socio-economic environment. Together with Accenture, the bank launched an agile transformation program to break organizational barriers and enable cross-functional collaboration. Today, BBVA has a “liquid” talent pool where people can be assigned to the highest-priority projects or processes at any given time.

With the tools and talent to support continuous reinvention, BBVA can keep reimagining what’s possible, driving breakthrough innovations to meet the ever-changing needs of its customers.

BBVA’s unstoppable reinvention journey

In our Built for Change podcast, we talk to BBVA’s David Puente about the key ingredients to their successful evolution.