Spanish retail bank BBVA will make biometric enrolment available to all its customers in Mexico, the US, Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Turkey

bbva head office madrid

BBVA's head office in Madrid (Credit: BBVA)

Spanish banking heavyweight BBVA plans to extend biometric enrolment to all of its customers worldwide by the end of this year.

The digital sign-up process will mean new customers can have their identities verified by facial, voice or fingerprint recognition.

BBVA already operates digital on-boarding in its home market of Spain, as well as Mexico, the US and Colombia — and plans to launch the facility in Peru, Argentina and Turkey.

It has developed these biometric technology services via a joint venture project called Veridas, alongside Spanish software start-up Das-Nano.

BBVA global head of customer solutions Gonzalo Rodriguez said: “Our goal is to have digital enrolment available to all users across our operating footprint by the end of 2019.

“We want customers to have access to maximum banking features and services via their preferred channel at any time of day or night, conveniently and safely.

“To this end, Veridas has demonstrated it has unrivalled technology, which will now be available to our customers wherever we operate.

“We are already working to explore new experiences for both customers and businesses, novel use cases that will dramatically change the way people pay for products and services.”


BBVA plans to extend biometric features to more than just new customer applications

Last year, BBVA became the first bank in Spain to introduce biometrics-based digital enrolment, and has since evolved its technology to further streamline the process.

For example, it now accepts short selfie videos in which customers show their identification, rather than requiring a longer video call.

bbva biometric
Selfies can be used as proof of ID to open a BBVA current account

BBVA also plans to extend the biometric on-boarding process to existing customers seeking to sign-up for additional products and services – such as new payment cards, loans or mortgages.

These capabilities, which are currently available to BBVA customers in select regions, will be rolled out across its global network throughout 2020.

The bank uses a component-based approach to tailor its propositions to the different characteristics of each market in which it operates.

In Colombia, customers are able to complete the process online, rather than via an app, as this is the preferred channel in the region — while in the US and Turkey different identity verification standards are used to suit the particular regulatory requirements.

BBVA envisions additional opportunities for its growing expertise in biometric technology, and is already trialling a facial recognition payment system in the cafeteria at its own corporate headquarters.

The bank says this form of cashless payments system eliminates transaction delays, resulting in faster purchases and less time spent waiting in lines — a benefit to both customers and the business.