BBVA accelerates tech push via establishment of AI Factory

Maria Nikolova

The new structure brings together a cross-disciplinary team consisting of data scientists, teams from the Engineering area, and representatives from other business areas.

BBVA is pressing ahead with its data push via the establishment of AI Factory. This is a global development center where BBVA builds the artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that power its customer solutions – for both the retail and corporate segments – and the Group’s streamlined internal processes.

The new structure brings together a cross-disciplinary team consisting of data scientists, teams from the Engineering area, and representatives from other business areas.

The new AI Factory is located at BBVA’s premises on the northern fringes of Madrid, very close to the bank’s central headquarters. About 150 professionals make up this initial team of this new workgroup, which also encompasses the BBVA Data & Analytics and Madiva Soluciones, the institution’s centers of excellence in advanced analytics.

“The AI Factory will allow us to have the best tech and data teams working in an integrated manner, with the aim of developing algorithms that can be embedded into the bank processes to enrich our channels, products and services through personalization, contextualization and recommendation. And also to streamline and increase the efficiency of our internal processes,” said Ricardo Forcano, Global Head of Engineering at BBVA.

BBVA’s push to develop data-based services capable of providing valuable advice to customers has led to the creation of a series of products and features that are already available through the bank’s mobile banking app.

The list of examples includes BBVA Valora, a tool that allows users to find out the fair rental or purchase price estimates for any given property or housing unit; and Bconomy, a financial health assessment feature already used by over 2.1 million people every month.

In November last year, the bank announced a BBVA-backed investment fund will support the growth of AI-driven advisory service Charlie. Charlie has secured a $9 million Series A Round led by BBVA’s Propel Venture Partners. Charlie is a text-based AI chatbot that seeks to help people who are less experienced in financial matters. Charlie’s aim is to help its users worry less about money.

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