London Publication The Banker Names BBVA ‘Bank of the Year’ in Latin America; Banco de Bogotá Takes Top Honors in Colombia
Spanish financial services giant BBVA is the bank of the year in Latin America on the strength of its digital advances, according to London publication The Banker.
“The importance of BBVA’s work in digital banking across the region cannot be overstated,” wrote the publication. “Its commitment to the digitalization of its banking products and services has served as a strong driver for its Latin American operations, where, compared with other regions in the world, technological innovation in financial services has been playing catch-up.”
“Technology is the mantra of the whole group and it is reflected in its leadership appointments.” – The Banker on Latin American ‘Bank of the Year’ winner BBVA
Specifically, The Banker praised BBVA’s ability to replicate rollouts across its different subsidiaries and business units, pointing to the 2018 launch of a mobile app in Paraguay that was based upon an “easier to use and more intuitive” design within its global app.
BBVA also received praise for its push to innovate in fintech. “The bank’s renowned Open Talent competition seeks to spot promising startups globally,” stated the publication. “This has helped the group in Latin America too. In 2017, BBVA completed the acquisition of one of the contest’s previous finalists, Mexican online payment company Openpay. Technology is the mantra of the whole group and it is reflected in its leadership appointments.”
The Banker hands out its annual “Bank of the Year” awards for every region of the world and drills down deeper to pick a top individual countries as well.
In Colombia, Bogotá-based Banco de Bogotá took top honors in large part due to its digital banking work.
By pushing more clients to adopt a mobile- and digital-first mentality, Banco de Bogotá has increased the percentage of people who open accounts digitally outside of a branch to around one-third, according to The Banker.
Though it admits that this figure is not staggering in and of itself, the outlet sees it as significant progress in a country where most people still expect to do their banking in a physical location.
“Banco de Bogotá has launched its Digital Lab BDB, where multidisciplinary teams come together to create and launch new products over a short period of time.” – The Banker
“One of Colombia’s largest banks, it is keen to keep up to speed with innovation and the changes in customers’ habits,” stated The Banker.
“Banco de Bogotá has launched its Digital Lab BDB, where multidisciplinary teams come together to create and launch new products over a short period of time,” it added. “Currently, the lab teams are working on five products — in the areas of savings accounts, credit cards, payroll loans, mortgages, and other consumer loans — and two digital channels, one for the web and one for mobile phones.”
Alejandro Figueroa Jaramillo, president of Banco de Bogotá, praised the “knowledge, professionalism and proper risk management” of his staff for helping the bank earn a distinction that is “the result of our commitment to provide our clients with better service and a portfolio suited to their needs.”
Photo: BBVA Colombia branch in Bogotá, Colombia. (Credit: Jared Wade)