Coolest Brands 2016: BBVA

‘Innovate or Die’

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / logoffBBVA has a lot more going on than Simple, cool as that acquisition was. In Jan. 2015, CEO Francisco Gonzalez said, “Some bankers and analysts think that Google, Facebook, Amazon or the like will not fully enter a highly regulated, low-margin business such as banking. I disagree. What is more, I think banks that are not prepared for such new competitors face certain death.” BBVA Compass, the bank’s US subsidiary, built a realtime core then hooked it up to a realtime payment system, Dwolla.

The bank’s innovation brand is sterling — it hosts hackathons and blockchain demo events. And it’s been doing these things longer and in greater depth than most other banks in the space, even other Spanish banks, no slouches in innovation themselves. There is a lot for U.S. banks to see and imitate, if they can, but BBVA has a significant headstart. The bank’s innovation efforts are bearing fruit, and BBVA is rightly proud of that.

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