Banks must ditch ‘spaghetti’ systems, says BBVA chief

Banks must ditch ‘spaghetti’ systems, says BBVA chief


Head over to the WIRED Money 2015 hub for more coverage of the thought leaders and innovators speaking at this year’s summit.

Banks must act now to upgrade the “spaghetti” systems they currently rely on or risk becoming redundant in the digital age, that’s according to Francisco González, chairman and CEO of Spanish banking group BBVA.

Speaking at WIRED Money 2015, he argued that “very few incumbents” will be at the centre of the new banking ecosystem, as they “lack the long term focus” to see through genuine change.

González said banks still relying on platforms created in the 60s and 70s faced “disaster” unless they rebuilt their systems. “Banks have been very slow to react,” he claimed, pointing to how the likes of Amazon, Spotify and Uber had disrupted their respective industries.

While most banks have invested in impressive new websites and apps, true change will only come when they address their crumbling foundations, González argued. “Behind this pretty front end they handle a mountain of papers. This is slow and inefficient.”

In response to this, González said BBVA had invested heavily to prepare itself for the digital age. The bank aims to have more than 100,000 employees working in digital by 2016, alongside a complete digitisation of its products and services.


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The bank currently handles 400 million digital transactions a day, up from 90 million in 2006. By 2020, BBVA anticipates this will rise to 1.4 billion per day.

For González, who started his technology career as an IT programmer at IBM, “change is a matter of survival”.

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