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Design is a core function at BBVA

BBVA has created a set of 5 design principles to develop its products and offerings, which it wants to be of optimum use for the customers:

Design is a core function at BBVA

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A., better known by its initials BBVA, is one of the largest financial services institutions in the world, operating mostly in Spain, South and North America, Turkey and Romania. It has some 82 million customers worldwide, who use its banking services that are supported by cutting-edge technologies. For the bank, it is a question of constant development and transformation so that its customers are never disappointed for lack of the latest products and services.


The bank has announced that design is a strategic function within the organization. It strongly believes that digital banking and the development of latest-generation digital products and services have taken financial services evolve towards a new model – one that is closer, more humane and focused on the customer. It has evolved its design principles – a set of ideas that make it possible to unify criteria for the design of any of the bank’s products or services in line with the Group’s strategic priorities. These principles guide and inspire the design team’s work. The work in this direction is another step toward the bank’s commitment to consolidate design as a fundamental pillar in strategy. By incorporating these principles, the bank aims create a unified set of criteria to guide the work of design teams on a daily basis. Thanks to these principles, which are based on 5 ideas, the decision-making process is easier and faster during all stages of the design process so that each of the bank’s products and services are in harmony with the Group’s strategic priorities.

The 5 design principles are:

  • We pay attention to what is important
  • We are honest
  • We treat people like humans
  • We let them make their own decisions
  • We start locally, to build globally

The bank’s designers around the world have created a pioneering new tool – a platform that allows them to reuse parts in order to create homogenous digital banking experiences across all of the countries where the bank has a presence.


In using design as one of the core principles in its operations, the bank evolved new ways for customers in interacting with the bank. It gave priority in designing a system whereby the requirements for which customers contact the bank are made ‘do-it-yourselfable’, or DIY-able, which means the customers could get themselves do these things using their mobile devices.


The bank has created a catalog that contains some 973 services that the bank offers – from checking bank accounts to applying for a mortgage, which now serves as the basis for the DIY offering and as a blueprint for determining how it builds services into digital platforms and how it shares them across the Group. Now, 94% of the bank’s retail products and services are available as DIY transactions.

The bank today has a big data technology platform and fully re-engineered processes. Its pursuit is to become a knowledge-based bank, the best one at that, using data analytics to develop customer insights and meet their needs. BBVA had started building its technological platform that underpins its ability to capture, store and process data as early as in 2007. Since then, it has doubled and tripled its systems investments. It is also making substantial investments in the selection and training of its workforce.


Its digital banking unit, which started in 2014 with an investment of 900 million euros is today a platform that processes more than 450 million transactions in a day. Its aim is to have digital customers in excess of 25 million worldwide in the coming years, where more than half of them will use the mobile banking functionality.

BBVA has selected Accenture to accelerate its digital transformation and apply analytics and AI for enhancing user experience. It has signed a 10-year collaborative agreement with the consultancy aimed at improving its agility of operations by updating processes and adapting to new ways of working with AI and analytics. The collaboration includes use by the bank of Accenture’s AI-powered SynOps platform to make data-driven decisions, improve operational cost and simplify services

The bank understands that given the fast-changing technology landscape, no bank can afford to rest on their laurels. It surely believes that organizations undertaking large scale digital transformation must integrate constant innovation into their daily operations. That only help them survive in the coming years.

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(This article has been compiled based on publicly available information on the web, particularly the bank’s own website.)

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