Fintech makes the world go around


January 15, 2019  12:04 PM

Open banking will transform financial services through osmosis

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

As UK’s open banking regulation reaches its first birthday it comes as no surprise that most people have not even heard of it. Nor is it surprising that banks are taking it slowly.

What seems to be clear is the view that open banking rules will transform the financial services sector if not particularly quickly.

I am currently working on an analysis of where open banking is today. I have seen a few developments from the big banks, but little to get excited about. So I asked around.

While I will be putting together some of the comments into an analysis I thought I would blog some of them first in the hope of getting some reader feedback.

I will kick it off with comments from a couple of analysts.

First up is David Bannister from Ovum.

Unsurprisingly he says the first year hasn’t been that dramatic as banks and fintechs rolled out minimum-level services to comply with the regulations. Thisd included  account aggregation apps that allow customers to access information from accounts held at other banks all in one place. HSBC and Barclays are examples.  “Not staggeringly new, but with smartphone apps becoming the preferred way of managing bank accounts it’s a first and necessary step that will quickly be so normal to most app users that they will think it’s no big deal.”

He says over the next 12 months these aggregation services, in retail banking, will lead to more advisory services. “Your bank will be able to suggest moving savings to a higher interest account, for instance, Third-parties will be offering more services that will let consumers shop around for better deals- instead of going to a comparison website, the app will make suggestions.”

He also expects the first payment initiation services, allowing people to make a payment from any of their accounts from one app.

Bannister says it will get more interesting for businesses too: “We’re already seeing the business software companies like Sage, Inuit and Xoom connecting their accounting software direct to bank accounts, which makes life easier for firms to manage accounts, reconcile invoices and eventually make payments directly from their accounting package.”

In the longer term bannister says other regulatory changes coming in will affect the services that will be developed on top of open banking. For example he says the UK’s Making Tax Digital initiative is already driving business in the direction of filing tax returns electronically, and it’s only a small step to having those returns filed by an accounting package that is linked to up-to-date account data. “Hard not to imagine a similar shift on the way individuals interact with HMRC, which gets into Big Brother territory quite quickly.”

 “Another initiative in the pipeline for the UK is the introduction of Request to Pay, which will provide an alternative to standing orders and the Direct Debit Scheme. Request to Pay allows billers to present customers with a range of options: pay now, pay part now, pay on the due date, ask for more time and so on. For lots of people working on zero-hours contracts or in the gig economy, whose income is variable and irregular this will be a boon, and billers seem to like it to as it improves the predictability of their cash flows.”

“All of these things are coming together (not just in the UK) to suggest a shift in payments away from the card model. There are huge issues about data protection to be addressed, but it would be relatively simple for an online retailer to store bank account information in the way that they store card details at the moment, and initiate a payment directly from the customer’s account.”

Next up is Gareth Lodge, analyst at Celent. He says it is important to make a diistiction  between the UK’s open banking regulation and the EU’s PSD2. “Which open banking we’re talking about – CMA9 (UK) or PSD2. He said they are different standards and have different timelines, which made it challemmnging for banks that have to do both.

“So year one, I didn’t expect much to happen to be honest – how can you explore the possibilities …. when you can’t yet explore the possibilities? Until the banks went live, it was difficult for anyone else to start figuring out what they might do,” says Lodge.

Lodge doesn’t expect that mush this year either. “But I do think it will definitely happen, and it’ll change banking forever – it’s just not instant, in the same way as Faster Payments took a fair while to become a game changer.”

He said the regulators, both at UK and EU level, have decided that Open Banking is the way forward, that’ll create competition and he thinks it will. “However things don’t just happen instantly because the regulator says they will.”

He expects the big banks rather than fintechs to take make most changes as a result. “Most of the changes I suspect will be where the bigger banks (rather than the fintechs) taken advantage of Open Banking, and the investments they’ve made because of Open Banking. For example, it allows corporate customers to control their accounts better from their ERP systems, or big banks to sell data or services to third parties.”

But in the long term Lodge expects open banking to transform the industry. “Banks have traditionally done the same thing, the same way, and all made money in the same way. The use of APIs for both external and internal use means that banks can create products in a fundamentally different way, as well as consume technology themselves differently.”

“Banks are already offering the entire banking stack for other banks to consume for example – as we see from some from some of the challenger banks, running your own IT or own premise may not be the norm going forward.”

I will soon blog some of the feedback I have received from fintechs, but if you have any comments or thoughts please put them into the comments.

January 14, 2019  10:46 AM

Talent shortages, new investments sources and increased diversity expected in UK fintech

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

Charlotte Crosswell CEO at fintech membership group Innovate Finance has given me her views on the fintech sector last year and some predictions for the year ahead.

I will start with the year ahead. And unsurprisingly the elephant in the room is dealt with. We already know that Brexit could reduce fintech investment and even see fintechs leave the UK and/or set up operations in the EU, if the UK leaves (Yes I said if).

Part of the concern is the reduced access to staff with the right tech skills. I speak to lots of fintechs and most of them have a really mixed workforce in terms of nationalities, with a very large proportion citizens of EU countries other than the UK.

Crosswell puts the search for talent as a major challenge this year. Obviously it all depends on what relationship the UK has with the EU after Brexit, if it does happen.

She said: “As the sector thrives and the competition for talent heats up, we cannot ignore the elephant in the room: Brexit.

With UK fintech sourcing 42% of its employees from overseas, the future relationship with the EU will be key to the UK maintaining its competitive advantage in fintech, she said.

We therefore expect to see an increase in efforts, from both the state and private sector, to ease the pressures on the current pipeline — whether that be through domestic efforts, working with industry and schools/universities; or from the global talent pool.”

Continuing on talent Crosswell said fintechs will start to try and increase the diversity of their workforces. ”This will require buy-in from the top and development of a pool of diverse talent from the bottom-up. Diversity is no longer an act of simple awareness building. The dialogue has shifted and is now geared towards action and ensuring the change actually happens.”

Increasing diversity should be an important target for all organisations and fintech could really change how the traditional banking sector looks in terms of its workforce.

An last but certainly not least another subject on the minds of all the tech sector is investment funds. Figures released last week by London & Partners painted a worrying picture for UK tech. The amount of money invested by venture capitalists in the UK dropped dramatically in the last 12 months, VC investment in UK tech dropped from £3.12bn to £2.49bn in 2018 compared to the year before. In London, where most fintechs are based the fall was from £2.53bn to £1.8bn.

Crosswell said there are people in the fintech industry that expect investment in fintechs to come from more sources other than VCs.

“IPOs and M&A activity will likely increase, although some believe investment into the sector will be less focused on venture capital and angel funding and more on corporate funding or principal investment,” she said.

If you have any predictions or comments on these predictions please leave a comment.


January 11, 2019  10:50 AM

Massive fall in tech investment in London last year and Berlin is gaining ground

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

… could it be Brexit related?

It seems people still want to hide the damaging effects of Brexit. Or am I missing something?

Figures from London & Partners about Tech investment in the UK and the capital were published this week.

Reading it gives you the feeling that the UK and London are going from strength to strength, but beneath the surface and not even mentioned in the press release is a huge drop in investment last year. Almost 30% in fact.

Judge for yourself.

The press release headline read “London and UK top European tech investment tables.” True London and the UK have attracted the most tech investment.

The opening paragraph read: “The UK and London continue to dominate the European tech investment landscape, with latest figures revealing Britain’s tech sector attracted more venture capital investment and tech IPOs than any other European hub in 2018.” Again true.

But shouldn’t readers be made more aware of the fact that for the first time tech investment fell in London and the UK. In 2017/18 it didn’t just fall, it plummeted. From £2.53bn in 2017 to £1.8bn in 2018. See the table below with the figures from London & partners and PitchBook.

 

  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
London £384.43m £732.09m £999.76m £1.11bn £2.53bn £1.8bn
UK £603.24m £1.02bn £1.63bn £1.50bn £3.12bn £2.49bn

 

And indeed London still has by far the most money invested in tech out of all European cities, but investment dropped by over £700m last year, getting on for 30%.

So this must be related to a general downturn I hear you say.  Think again.  French tech firms raised over £1 billion in 2018, compared with the £748m raised in 2017. And Berlin’s saw strong growth.

Here are the London & partners and PitchBook figures.

City Total Funding in 2018 (£)
London £1.8bn
Berlin £936.53m
Paris £797.04m
Stockholm £224.23m
Barcelona £182.74m
Amsterdam £163.51m
Zurich £156.97m
Copenhagen £111.37m
Dublin £104.13m
Cambridge £97.2m

Deputy mayor for business in London, Rajesh Agrawal, said: “These figures demonstrate that London is going from strength to strength as a global hub for technology, innovation and creativity.” Which figures is he talking about?

Perhaps questions should be asked about his next statement: “Regardless of the outcome of Brexit, London will remain open to innovation, talent and investment from all over the world.”

So am I missing something?

Why was there such a big drop?


January 10, 2019  10:24 AM

UK Finance plays down fraud threat through contactless card skimming

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

I wrote about the increase in fraud associated with contactless cards earlier this week following the release of data from Action Fraud.

It told a worrying story with a doubling in the amount or money stolen from contactless card users. £1.18m was reported stolen by fraudsters from contactless users in 2018, compared with £711,000 in 2017.

The Action fraud report described the different ways that fraudsters use contactless to steal money.

The most likely is if a card is stolen and then a criminal uses the card to make payments before the owner realises it is missing. But it also mentioned skimming where data is stolen from contactless cards by fraudsters using devises which enables them to steal money. Action fraud only records the money taken if it is reported to them.

UK Finance, which represents about 300 financial services firms in the UK, has a much broader picture of contactless card fraud as it gets data from the banks rather than just what is reported to it. It wanted to put the latter into context. “No verified incidents of contactless fraud have ever been recorded on cards still in the possession of the original owner,” it said. In other words no money has been taken through contactless technology being skimmed.

UK Finance’s latest figures for the first six months of 2018 show that £8.4m was stolen from people through contactless. This was 3% of total card fraud of £281.2 million which came from a total spend of £31.9bn.

Its figures showed contactless fraud to be 2.5p in every £100 compared to overall card fraud, which is 7.2p in every £100 spent.

But again an important message from the banks through UK Finance is that none of the money taken was the result of contactless cards being skimmed. “There have never been any verified reports of fraudsters taking money from someone’s contactless card just by bumping into them in the street or on public transport ever happening in the UK,” it said.

“It’s not possible to simply ‘steal’ cash from a contactless card. All money must go through a card system.”

But still £8.4m is a lot of money taken from stolen cards is a lot of money.

Good digital banking services should help reduce this. I have an account with a challenger bank which enables me to temporarily disable my card easily on my mobile app if I can find it. No need for a phone call. Also if you find the card again you can just as easily re-enable it or if it is missing cancel it and have a new send to you immediately. But could even more be done to reduce this type of fraud?

UK Finance stressed: “Customers are legally protected against any contactless card fraud losses and will not be left out of pocket.”


January 9, 2019  11:36 AM

Challenger bank creates hundreds of new UK jobs outside London

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

The fintech industry and challenger banks in particular making a difference beyond providing people with convenient banking services, they are also providing jobs and careers.

This is further evidence of the importance of the fintech sector to the UK economy. Government should take seriously the views of this industry on Brexit.

The UK and London in particular is a hotbed for fintech and many are already planning to open operations in other EU countries, to prepare for the loss of access to the single market and passporting rights. These operations in other countries could mean future tech jobs are created outside the UK.

Monzo’s move shows there is life beyond London for fintechs and there is an increasing feeling there will have to be life outside the UK for many.

Take Monzo. A mobile only bank which received its banking licence in April 2017. Not only has it amassed a customer base of about a million but it also creating jobs.

The bank has for example announced it will create 300 jobs over the next few years in Cardiff. These finetch jobs are part of Monzo’s expansion beyond its London headquarters.

The Cardiff centre will be able to access cyber security expertise because South Wales is a leading location for research into cyber risks, clearly critical to a digital bank.

Monzo joins insurtechs GoCompare, Confused.com, and MoneySupermarket.com, which are headquartered in Wales.

 Monzo’s CEO, Tom Blomfield, said: “Over the next few years, we’ll be hiring hundreds of people into our Cardiff office as we grow our customer base by millions more people.”

Welsh government economy and transport minister, Ken Skates said: “Our Economic Action Plan is clear on our commitment to supercharging the industries of the future and supporting businesses to innovate and compete in a rapidly evolving market place.”

The region is attractive to tech firms. Cardiff has its own internet exchange and Europe’s largest datacentre, Next Generation Data, is also nearby. There are also fintech innovation labs there such as Barclays Eagle Lab and NatWest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator in Cardiff.


January 8, 2019  10:49 AM

RBS gets down with the youth as digital bank invests in fintech Loot

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

Royal Bank of Scotland’s standalone digital bank has invested in a fintech that offers a money management tool for young people and students.

RBS is currently building a digital bank, known as Bó, which will be separate from the main bank. News of which first broke in March last year. The investment in the fintech, knoown as, Loot might help it attract younger customers, amid fierce competition.

Former RBS COO Mark Bailie is leading the Bó project which has seen tens of millions of pounds allocated to the new digital platform.

Reports suggested the bank will migrate about a million customers from its NatWest arm to the new bank. It plans to launch this year and is currently in private beta.

News now comes that the digital bank has taken a 25% stake in  Loot, which offers students and young people a money management tool. The app as about 175,000 people signed up to it.

RBS, like other banks, are investing in fintechs to give them access to innovation and customers that might not normally chose them, mainly the young.

Bailie at Bó, said: “Through [Loot’s] innovative use of technology and intention to change the status quo, it’s quickly built a following of loyal customers, with potential for rapid future growth.”

It will be interesting to see how RBS migrates NatWest customers to Bó. And if successful how many other customers move to the digital bank.

Clydesdale and Yorkshire bank group (CYBG) may have a good model that RBS could follow.

CYBG created a separate bank known a B. Yes B will be competing with Bó. CYBG built the digital bank and then migrated its Clydesdale bank and Yorkshire bank customers to it. The CYBG announced it was acquiring Virgin Money, which means another group of customers will move to B.

CYBG has completed the transfer of customers to B and I didn’t note any reports of any problems. This is interesting if you consider the carnage experienced at TSB when it moved customers to a new platform.

Read my interview with CYBG CIO Fraser Ingram about the migration.


January 7, 2019  2:42 PM

What does Google’s EU payments authorisation mean to consumers, businesses and the company itself?

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

Google received its EU payments authorisation via Ireland’s central bank but which will allow  the tech giant to provide  financial services across Europe.

Google can now issue and acquire payments across the EU under passporting rights. It currently offers financial services through the Google Wallet, but the authorisation must mean more Google financial services are on the way.

But what will this mean for consumers, businesses and Google itself? It has always been accepted that Google will work with banks and the like with services to support them and that Google Bank would not materialise. But this could change and authorisations from regulators could fuel this.

A few years ago in its Why Google Bank Won’t Happen report, Forrester said the high costs and strict regulation of setting up a traditional bank – alongside advertising revenue coming from banks – will push internet firms into roles that support the relationship between banks and their customers. These include transactional payment services, financial advice, money management and product comparisons. “[Google] will be by integrating digital assets such as its search engine, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Play, and Google Now that Google could redefine financial services. Thanks to these capabilities, Google is well positioned to disrupt four interlinked areas, disintermediating incumbents in the process,” said the research.

Google is always held up as the ultimate fintech with Google bank a concept that has been extensively covered and the authorisation of Google could signal major disruption for existing suppliers.

Google reportedly said of the payments authorisation in Ireland: “We are constantly working to support our customers in Europe. We have applied for a payment licence in Ireland as part of these efforts, in addition to ongoing discussions relating to projects all around Europe.”

I am going to write an analysis and I hope to dig into what Google could do, but I would like to ask the question first and invite people to comment. Please leave your comments below and get a debate going.


January 7, 2019  12:56 PM

The fintech interview: Part 10 Meniga

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

It has been a couple of months since my last fintech interview. I am blaming a big story I was working on, which involved a lot of time in court, and then of course the festive period.

But hopefully this interview with Georg Ludviksson, CEO and co-founder at Meniga, which provides digital banking software to banks, will be a good place to restart the interview series.

It is a story of how a techie and personal finance nerd got gripped by business.

Formed in Rekjavik, Iceland, Meniga is a bit longer established than most fintechs I have so far interviewed for this blog, having been formed in 2009.

Meniga offers banks digital banking software and was one of the first companies to provide personal finance software. It started off with a personal finance tool but this evolved as a software company that offers the building blocks for a digital bank, including core digital banking services with a strong personal finance angle.

“The key theme is helping the banks evolve from a place you transact such as checking a balance, move money and pay bills into an application which is more like a financial coach,” said Ludvikson. “You can still transact but it is telling you something insightful about your finances.”

Meniga sells to banks who integrate its software, which can be in the cloud or hosted on premise. “Many of the banks we worked with were reluctant to have the software in the cloud but this is now changing and many of our projects now are cloud based.”

Its customers include Spanish bank Santander, Germany’s Commerzbank,  and ING in the Netherlands. But most of the company’s customers are not traditional banks and it includes companies in retail and other sectors as the boundaries of financial services blur.

Meniga is currently looking to expand in the UK and its first UK customer could be announced soon.

Ludvikson was originally a software engineer and Meniga was not his first startup. He was involved with an enterprise mobility company and he later worked on a fintech in Boston which helped people invest money.

But his role now is much different. “At my early startups I was a key technical person but I developed an passion for business plans and realised that sales and marketing probably matters more than the technology,” said Ludvikson.

This changed his plans somewhat. He was planning on doing a Phd in machine learning and artificial intelligence but switched to an MBA at Harvard Business School.

While in Boston a new generation of personal finance tools such as Mint.com began to emerge. “This was something that really spoke to me as an enthusiast and these tools were similar to some of the thoughts I’d had around helping people to better understand and manage their money.”

“I was always looking into startups and at the time I would say I was a personal finance nerd and enjoyed using tools and applications for personal finance management.”

He also began helping friends and family when it came to managing their finances. “When you set up a startup it is hard and for it to be successful you have to be passionate about what you are doing so I was exploring ideas in this space.”

When Ludvikson moved back to Europe he planned to set up a European company with this very focus. Then the financial crisis struck in 2008, which hit Iceland particularly hard.

“I had a job lined up at a hedge fund but that did not happen due to the crisis. This was not particularly the best time to switch careers into financial services,” he said.

But this did not deter Ludvikson and he got involved in entrepreneurship again and began work on Meniga.

And the financial services crash of 2007 was actually good for the startup. Most of the early talent, especially the first co-founder, came from existing banks. “When the banks collapsed we got a lot of their talent.”

The first business plan was completed in October 2008 and Ludvikson started working full time on it in March 2009. He recruited a CTO, who became a technical co-founder, while Ludvikson handled the product development,  business and sales the CTO handled the technology development.

“In the Spring of 2009 we started building the original solution,” said Ludvikson. It wasn’t long after that the company had its first bank customer.

“Once we had some initial success and been live with the bank for a few months we received €700,000 seed funding in April 2010 which we used to pay ourselves salaries.”

The company then expanded in Iceland and signed up two of the other major banks before expanding outside Iceland. “We decided everything would be international and used English as the corporate language. Iceland is a good place to start but it you want to grow you have to move overseas.”

The company set up a sales operation in Stockholm, Sweden, where Ludvikson relocated.

It then sold the product to some medium sized banks in Scan

This was one of the re-capitalised Iclandic banks, Íslandsbanki,  which bought a comprehensive personal management platform from Meniga. This platform could be integrated with the digital banks of customers. This helped customers manage their money and offered functionality including peer comparison which allowed customers to compare their spending to others.

“This was tightly linked to the digital bank. It was a separate application but customers could sign up through the digital bank,” said Ludvikson.

Banks pay for the software through a licence which is linked to the number of users.

It started the contract with Islandsbanki in September 2009 and went live in January 2010. “About 25% of its active digital users signed up in the first three months and it climbed to about half of its users.”

“We bootstrapped for the first year but we used revenue from this first contract to hire more staff and then got a third co-founder,” added Ludvikson.

“Once we had some initial success and been live with the bank for a few months we received €700,000 seed funding in April 2010 which we used to pay ourselves salaries.”

The company then expanded in Iceland and signed up two of the other major banks before expanding outside Iceland. “We decided everything would be international and used English as the corporate language. Iceland is a good place to start but it you want to grow you have to move overseas.”

danavia. “This region was the next stepping stone after Iceland,” said Ludvikson. At this time the company had about five staff in Sweden and 15 in Iceland.

But once the new customers were signed it grew. “In 2012 we went live with new customers in Finland and Sweden and increased the workforce to about 25.” The new staff were mainly software developers and product designers.

In 2012 the company signed seven banks as customers including banks in Germany, Poland and Spain.

In 2013 it grew to about 85 people after receiving more funding worth €6m. It then relocated its headquarters. “In 2013 we decided London was a much better place for the salesteam than Stockholm,” said Ludvikson. Access to sales talent, transport links and a large domestic market were major drivers.

Although it has customers in nearly every European country it does not yet have any UK bank customers. But Ludvikson said the company is hoping to announce one soon although he added that “this is not yet a done deal.”

Meniga now has 130 employees in four location with two thirds are in Iceland where most research and development is done. London is the sales office and headquarters and Stockholm as a research and development office. Its latest office is in Warsaw where 15 people currently work.

Read the previous fintech interviews

Part 9 TrueLayer, Part 8 InvestCloudPart 7 ClauseMatchPart 6 Rebuilding Society, Part 5 HonchoPart 4 AkoniPart 3 WriskPart 2 CreditLadderPart 1 Taina Technology


January 4, 2019  2:31 PM

Is Ireland the main life raft for UK fintechs as Brexit approaches and could Paris be a reserve

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

Paris and Frankfurt are being touted as locations for UK financial services firms to locate, but is it the case that Ireland will be easier?

Does the close proximity and cultural similarity to the UK make Ireland the number one choice.

I recently spoke to Russ Shaw, founder of Tech Global Advocates as he announced the launch of Tech Paris advocates, the latest entry in the global technology network.

Tech London Advocates began in 2013 when a network of technologists and entrepreneurs formed the group to promote London as a hub for tech companies. It has since grown to include another 11 locations as part of Tech Global Advocates.

When we were discussing the launch I obviously had to ask him about Brexit. More specifically whether he thought that UK fintechs could perhaps seek refuge in Paris after Brexit.

He said: “It is early days, but Paris is going to have a strong fintech sector as well as [strong] machine learning and artificial intelligence. It could also have an opportunity in creative tech. Meeting some of the founders reminded me of the challenges we had in London,” said Shaw.

In terms of a gateway to the EU market for UK fintechs he said: “We assume fintech businesses will need passporting rights, so if they open up in Paris they can continue to operate across Europe.”

We also regularly hear how Frankfurt will be chosen for relocation for many banks.

But while there is talk of Paris attracting UK firms Ireland, a natural location for English speaker, has announced success in creating thousands of new jobs, since Brexit. IDA Ireland, which is responsible for attracting foreign investment to Ireland, has announced that companies within its remit added 4500 jobs last year. These include firms such as Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays which all expanded in Ireland as part of their Brexit planning.

In March IDA Ireland told me: “Financial services is the most high-profile industry to be affected by Brexit because the re-regulation of banks and financial businesses takes so long,” he said. “They don’t have time to wait and see what the Brexit agreement between the UK and EU is going to be.”

At the time the IDA has brought in about 28 financial institutions of various sizes and profiles since the Brexit vote, and all these were Brexit-driven, he said.

I have spoken to several fintechs who are looking at opening offices in Ireland to retain access to the single market and for many the deep skills pool that the EU offers.

And it is not just British fintechs. For example, California-based payments company Stripe set up its European hub in Ireland, and Deloitte is to build its Emea blockchain lab in Dublin.

If you are currently movig or planning to move to an EU country from the UK, please share your story in the comments or email me on kflinders@techtarget.com


January 3, 2019  11:41 AM

Imagine the entire population of Australia using digital banking services from one bank

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

If I had a pound for every press release I received describing the take up of digital banking channels I would be very rich.

And if I wrote about them all I would have no time for anything else. There is only one direction of travel for digital banking services and it would probably only really be news if take up of digital services declined at a bank..

But news that BBVA has reached the digital versus traditional banking tipping point is worth a mention.

The Spanish banking giant BBVA said half of its customer base are now users of its digital banking services.

The bank announced that 26.4 million of its overall global customer base are now consuming services via smartphones, PCs and mobile devices compared to 22.2 million a year earlier. That is more than the population of Australia using digital services  at one bank.

This means half the banks customers overall are digital and represents a tipping point, according to Commenting, BBVA’s global head of client solutions, Derek White.

“…passing this 50% tipping point is a testament to the fact that the power of connected technology is bringing real benefits to those who bank with us, and we will continue to accelerate the amazing products and services will offer in 2019 and beyond.”

BBVA seems to be doing something right. Back in 2017 I wrote about it being ranked the number one mobile banking app in the world by Forrester. At the time BBVA had around 19.9 million digital customers worldwide. Forrester praised BBVA’s strategy to put customers at the centre of its offering rather than just adding functionality.


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