Spain’s BBVA has announced plans to invest $1.2 billion ontechnology projects across South America over the next 2 years as it seeks tocapitalize on changing consumer trends in favor of the digital channel tobecome the continent’s leading digital bank with robust online and mobilebanking functionality.
As part of the announcement, BBVA highlighted that just inthe past year the number of online customers in the region by 30% with the bankreaching 3 million online customers and over one million customers using thebank’s mobile application. According to BBVA’s president and chief operatingofficer, Ángel Cano, says 40% of the $1.2 billion will be allocated fortechnological projects with the remaining 60% focused on growth ininfrastructures and distribution networks.
Speaking at the announcement, Cano said, “This is aboutdeveloping products from a digital perspective, conceived in different ways,just as a digital native would image them: less data, more interaction and withsolutions for social media.”
With 170 million unbanked or underbanked adults in SouthAmerica according to Mercator Advisory Group estimates, there is ample room forBBVA to grow and by prioritizing the digital channel, BBVA will be in a poleposition to capitalize on the wide spread availability of mobile phones anddraw in new customers.
For more information on the unbanked and underbankedlandscape in South America, see Mercator Advisory Group’s Research Report, Unbanked and Underbanked Customers in SouthAmerica: A Market for E-Payments (http://www.mercatoradvisorygroup.com/Reports/Unbanked-and-Underbanked-Consumers-in-South-America_-A-Market-for-E-Payments/)released in May 2014.