iPhone in Business

Grupo BBVA

Banking on iPhone and iPad.

Currently one of the world’s largest financial institutions, Grupo BBVA was formed in 1999 by merging two major banks into a single, efficient organization with operations throughout the Spanish-speaking world. iPad and iPhone help this Madrid-based megabank accelerate essential workflows, improve internal communications, and provide the best possible services to its 49.8 million customers worldwide.

“We are seeing that productivity increases just by the fact that an employee has an iPhone or iPad. These devices are changing the way people work.” says Luis Uguina, who oversees BBVA’s remote channels and new digital business.

iPad and iPhone enable BBVA’s management staff to make business decisions and solve problems faster and more efficiently. Even when a manager is traveling or in a meeting, he or she can quickly authorize expenses or respond to urgent requests. “With these devices, processes that once took weeks now take hours,” Uguina says. “People can do work on the go that previously could be done only on a PC.”

And as Grupo BBVA moves toward increasingly collaborative, cloud-based workflows, iPhone and iPad make even more sense as a way to effortlessly connect with corporate data and colleagues.

“I simply open my iPad and I am connected with my entire team,” says Beatriz Lara, BBVA’s Director of Innovation. “We have all the functionality of the group on something almost like a sheet of paper.”

Better Banking Anywhere

But iPhone and iPad aren’t only for internal use. These devices also give BBVA an ideal platform to deliver the information and immediacy that customers expect in the current financial climate.

“In the financial crisis the world has gone through, even though we’ve come out very strong, things have changed,” says Gregorio Panadero, Director of Communications and Brand at BBVA. “We have to be a lot closer to our customers. Investing in technology reduces our operation costs and provides a better service at a lower price.”

Lara agrees: “In the last few years, technology has revolutionized banking. We have to develop new business approaches and new skills in the digital world to truly become a global bank.”

To forge new connections with customers, BBVA has developed several iPhone apps to address specific consumer banking needs and interests. Bank managers have also begun using iPad to share information in client interactions.

“The size is perfect for interacting with the public,” Uguina says. “It’s small enough to carry easily, but big enough to display all the information that we want to share with customers. And we require a device in which the battery lasts a long time, which a PC unfortunately doesn’t have — but iPad does.”

Apps for Global Business

In addition to its consumer applications, BBVA has developed in-house apps such as a worldwide employee directory, an internal newspaper, and Workflows Control, a workflow management tool for iPhone and iPad.

Other essential business apps from the App Store — including Junos Pulse for secure VPN connections, and Apple iWork apps such as Pages, Numbers, and Keynote — are available to BBVA employees through an in-house portal.

“We also use MicroStrategy Mobile for internal management of the bank’s dashboards and numbers,” says Uguina. “Instead of bringing printouts or PowerPoint presentations to meetings like we used to, now we do it automatically in real time, directly from the bank systems.”

And with the application Tango Video Calls for videoconferencing, it’s easy to have face-to-face meetings with remote colleagues. “All our executives are now iPad fanatics,” Panadero notes. “Not just for work, and access to all their information, but as an audiovisual communication device.”

Total Financial Security

Out of the box, iPhone and iPad deliver the premium-grade security that BBVA requires for mobile workflows. The company also uses both MobileIron and Afaria for mobile device management (MDM) to authorize and manage its thousands of devices.

“We need to have maximum security,” says Uguina, “and iPhone and iPad have passed all the tests. And if someone loses the device, we can delete the information remotely.”

Support and training for the devices are minimal, he adds: “Installation and delivery are very simple. With both iPad and iPhone, the user experience is very good — employees are capable of using the device practically from the first moment.”

Banking on the Future

As Grupo BBVA expands its financial reach throughout Latin America, Europe, the United States, and most recently, China, iPad and iPhone are helping the bank achieve its goals for ever-greater innovation and productivity.

“For us, innovation is simplicity,” Panadero says. “And iPhone and iPad are very simple, very intuitive. Having everything you need in one device is simply magical.”

“We see this as only the beginning,” says Uguina. “The tools offered to us by iPhone and iPad will allow us to make applications in the future that look like science fiction today. iPhone and iPad really bring us closer to our idea of the future of banking.”

Company Snapshot

  • Founded 1857 in Bilbao, Spain
  • 110,000 employees in 32 countries
  • More than 49 million customers
  • 7,400+ branches throughout Spain and Latin America and growing in the US
  • www.bbva.com

“Productivity increases just by the fact that an employee has an iPhone or iPad. These devices are changing the way people work.”

Luis Uguina Global Head of Remote Channels and New digital Business, Grupo BBVA


“I simply open my iPad and I am connected with my entire team. We have all the functionality of the group on something almost like a sheet of paper.”

Beatriz Lara, BBVA’s Chief Innovation Officer, Grupo BBVA


“All our executives are now iPad fanatics — not just for work, and access to all their information, but as an audiovisual communication device.”

Gregorio Panadero, Director of Communications and Brand, Grupo BBVA

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