Digital Customers at BBVA Hit 30% of Total

  • JJ Hornblass
  • August 3, 2015
  • 1

canstockphoto5327011BBVA is continuing its march to digitalization.

The Spanish bank, among the world’s most aggressive in pursuing a digital strategy, now counts 30% — or 13.5 million — of its active customers as digital consumers, BBVA revealed Friday. Carlos Torres, chief operating officer and president, told investors that BBVA’s “exponential growth” of 21% in digital banking is even more acute in mobile banking, where 7 million active mobile customers now account for 16% of the bank’s total customer base, a 59% increase since June 2014.

“Our customers are demanding interaction through digital in an exponential way, especially through the mobile which is proving to be a very effective selling channel as well,” Torres said.

BBVA has a total of 51 million customers.

Torres extolled the bank’s digital offerings, which include Simple, the banking startup it acquired in Feb. 2014 for $117 million:

  • BBVA’s digital customers are more engaged than non-digital customers. The average annual transactions performed by a digital customer is 11 times that of a traditional non-digital customer and they are more profitable, because they reduce the bank’s cost of servicing;
  • BBVA has seen customers reduces by 18% their visits to a branch after their first web wire transfer, and still digital customers demand more products and services. There are seven times as many “engaged customers” at BBVA among its digital customer pool versus the least digital customer pool;
  • BBVA’s penetration of digital in consumer loan sales reached 18% of total loans sold in Spain as of June, compared to 9% last January.

It does seem that BBVA is lagging some banks in digital sales, however. Bank of America recently said that 60% of its sales are digital, although the Charlotte, N.C., megabank did not specify what it constitutes a “sale” or what it means by a “digital sale.”

“The world is changing very quickly,” Torres said. “Technology is having a profound impact on customers. The customer expectation is fostering new customer behaviors, opening up ways of delivering new value propositions.”

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JJ started the first iteration of Bank Innovation back in 2007, and has been working on it ever since. He also serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Media, Bank Innovation’s parent. He founded Royal in 1995 and oversees all aspects of the New York-based diversified media company. Prior to forming Royal, JJ was on the editorial staff of American Banker, the daily newspaper, and worked as an editor of a business magazine in Hong Kong. As a reporter and editor, he has won journalism awards from the National Press Foundation, Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Foundation, and the Reader’s Digest Foundation. He has a BS in Economics from Yeshiva University and a Master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was also a Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking. He lives in New York City with his wife, two daughters, and son. He counts among his accomplishments one New York City Marathon, two New York City Triathlons and the 2010 Father’s Day 5K, the first race he ever ran with his daughters. He can be reached at or 212-564-8972.

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