BBVA prioritises user experience with design agency aquisition

Spanish bank BBVA has acquired San Francisco-based design agency Spring Studio for an undisclosed sum to help develop the look and user experience of the bank’s digital offerings.

Spring Studio will continue to function as an independent company, but will now focus on BBVA projects. The 38-strong firm will help develop BBVA mobile and online apps for the US and South America.

Bruce Randall, co-founder and president, and Sanjay Shamdasani, co-founder and principal user experience strategist, will continue to head the company.

The acquisition follows a digital push from BBVA, as it responds to new customer demands and the entrance of digital-only players to the rapidly changing financial industry.

“As more customers seek to access their bank through smartphones, computers and tablets, they will increasingly choose the bank that provides the best digital experience,” a BBVA release pointed out. “Human-centered design is key to disruption in the finance industry.”

BBVA is open to disruption, having backed a number of well-known fintech start-ups. The bank launched a $100 million venture capital fund for the purpose in 2013, and has since invested in bitcoin firm Coinbase and invoice management software company Taulia, among others. The bank also acquired mobile bankins startup simple for $117 million in February.

The Spanish bank is not the only financial institution to prioritise digital design. US bank Capital one acquired another San Francisco-based design and user experience agency in October, called Adaptive path.

JP Morgan, Goldman Sach, Morgan Stanley and the Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays have also recetnyl advertised design roles to help improve their mobile banking apps, Financial News reported.

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