BBVA enters Italian retail banking market with free digital services

BBVA has entered into the Italian retail banking market by rolling out a free digital-only service, to build its consumer base in the country. The Spanish bank has been operating in the country for more than three decades, through its wholesale banking business.

The bank said it will provide free digital banking, secure cards with no numbers printed on them, and financing products to the retail customers in Italy, at competitive prices.

BBVA CEO Onur Genç said: “Our value proposition aims to bring together the product offering and strength of a traditional bank with the customer experience of a digital player.

“We want to bring the best of both worlds to Italy: a universal digital bank. Italy is a large market, which is undergoing a profound digital transformation.

“E-commerce, the use of mobile banking and card payments have grown double digit in recent years, which provides great opportunities for growth.”

BBVA’s decision on launching the fully digital offering in Italy was based on its expertise in digitalisation and the potential of its mobile banking app.

According to the company, 38 million of its customers use digital channels to contact the bank, more than 62% through the mobile app, and 70% of sales are done digitally.

The bank would issue a BBVA card in Italy, which comes with no card number or CVV printed on it, but a key is generated from the mobile app each time the card is used.

BBVA card is said to offer enhanced security to the transaction.

BBVA said that its customers in Italy would benefit from unlimited access to telephone and remote customer services, 24 hours a day, and seven days a week.

Also, they can make free money transfers, withdraw cash from any ATM in the Eurozone for free, and use mobile payment services with Samsung Pay, Google Play or Apple Pay.

BBVA Italy digital banking head Javier Lipuzcoa said: “BBVA has arrived in Italy with the goal of being the ‘Zero Commission Everyday Mobile Bank’ of reference for our customers, with a commission-free mobile banking experience.”