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BBVA announced that it will extend its digital onboarding process based on biometric identification — provided in collaboration with BBVA’s 2017 joint venture with Spanish startup Das-Nano, Veridas — to all areas of operation by the end of 2019. The online enrollment service, which first became available in Spain, is currently available in Mexico, Spain, the US, and Colombia, and is slated to roll out soon to Peru, Argentina, and Turkey.
For 80% of BBVA’s footprint, the widespread deployment is only made possible through the use of components that enable biometric identification to be easily adapted for the specific requirements of different countries. For example, in Colombia, customers don’t have to download or install an app to use digital enrollment and can instead sign up on the web.
As digital account opening gains popularity worldwide, the use of biometric authentication could help BBVA offer digital enrollment for more complex financial products. Globally, 57% of accounts can be opened digitally, but this percentage runs higher for personal banking accounts (76%), while wealth management and business banking accounts lag behind (49% and 37%, respectively), per a study by Temenos.
While it seems that BBVA currently allows mostly personal accounts to be opened online, with biometrics offering more ways to authenticate customers, the bank is working to bring account opening via digital channels to its other banking products like loans and mortgages. That could potentially make it easier to upsell digitally engaged customers to more complex account types, deepening their loyalty to the bank.
As BBVA perfects its usage of biometrics, it may be able to apply those tools to use cases beyond digital account opening. Biometrics could be used, for example, to enable consumers to authorize more sensitive transactions — such as high-volume transfers — via online channels.
Alternatively, they could be employed for step-up authentication via mobile devices, perhaps enabling customers to verify that they carried out a transaction that the bank flagged as suspicious. And to take things even further, BBVA is already experimenting with ways to use biometric technology to streamline customer interactions beyond banking, having instituted a functioning facial recognition system in its headquarters’ corporate cafeterias.
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