Apple takes on Venmo in P2P payments market

BBVA passes mobile milestone in Spain

The mobile banking revolution is continuing at pace, with a recent announcement from BBVA underlining the rate of growth in this channel over the past few months alone.

More than three million of the bank’s customers in Spain now interact with their provider via their mobile phone, marking a 30 percent increase from December 2016. In December 2015, BBVA had 1.9 million mobile customers.

The data also showed that, in May 2017, the bank engaged in more than 56 million customer interactions via the mobile channel, compared to 23.8 million a year earlier.

Across the globe, BBVA now has nearly 20 million digital customers, 22 percent more than a year ago. Nearly three-quarters (14.5 million) of these are mobile users – a 42 percent increase from the same period last year.

Discussing these recent trends, Gonzalo Rodriguez, head of digital transformation at BBVA Spain, said the growth in the digital space is the result of “the constant updating of our mobile channels, in order to continue offering products and services that are relevant for our customers”.

He added: “This development never stops and our customers’ new needs oblige us to continue working on new functionalities.”

Mr Rodriguez went on to note that the mobile channel is expanding to encompass new functionalities. It is now possible, for example, to initiate a mortgage application on a smartphone, something that “would have been unthinkable only a few years ago”.

“In fact, as of May, the smartphone accounts for more digital sales than the (bank’s) website,” he said.

Mobile functionality is also having a big impact on the payments sector, but separate research has suggested that, despite all this new technology and innovation, many consumers continue to rely on tried-and-tested components of the financial system.

A survey by Blumberg Capital found that 75 percent of consumers in Germany, 64 percent in Britain and 58 percent in the US still use cash to make purchases at least once a week.

Image: iStockphoto/Gevber86

Written by Jack Dougal