BBVA has reported earnings for Q4 2019, revealing that it now has 32.1 million digital customers, representing a customer penetration rate of 57%, up from 52% in Q4 2018.
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It also disclosed that it now has 29 million mobile customers — more than triple the 9.1 million mobile customers it had in 2015 — and that 51% of customers are interacting with the bank through mobile channels. BBVA’s digital sales, meanwhile, accounted for 59% of total sales, up from just 52% in Q4 2019.
The Spanish bank’s digital indicators are already solid, but it has enjoyed a series of digital victories in recent months that could accelerate their growth.
In the period since early October 2019, BBVA was named the world’s leading mobile banking platform by Forrester for the third year running; launched fully digital business onboarding; and announced that it would provide banking services for Uber Money in Mexico, an offering that makes financial services available to drivers on the US-based ride-hailing giant’s platform. These accomplishments could both help BBVA elevate its digital banking prestige and offer the bank new ways to bring in clients.
BBVA USA, the bank’s US subsidiary, took a hit in Q4 2019 due to the US interest rate environment, but the unit’s digital transformation push bodes well for the future. BBVA USA reported a net loss of $331 million for the quarter, but this was due to a goodwill impairment caused by the decline in interest rates in the US, said Javier Rodríguez Soler, president and CEO of BBVA USA, in the earnings release.
He went on to say that the impairment “had no impact on our liquidity position, regulatory capital ratios, and the operations of our company or our ability to meet our customers’ needs.” With this issue aside, BBVA USA’s prospects look rosy, especially where digital is concerned: The bank leapt into third place out of 20 banks included in Business Insider Intelligence’s 2019 US Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study (Enterprise only) in terms of banks with the most desirable mobile banking features — it came in ninth in 2018 — on the strength of its transfer and account management capabilities.
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