BBVA vs SANTANDER, in technology investments

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BY : Diego GutiérrezJune Tue, 2018

BBVA and Banco Santander are the big names in the Spanish banking sector. In some aspects there is no doubt that they are following the same path, especially in the digitalisation race. That is why we analyse the technological investments made by these corporations that indicate the direction of their strategies.

BBVA and Banco Santander are the big names in the Spanish banking sector. In some aspects there is no doubt that they are following the same path, especially in the digitalisation race. That is why we analyse the technological investments made by these corporations that indicate the direction of their strategies.

Differences in its expansion

First of all, both banks opted for internationalisation, but not in the same way, they established themselves in different countries. Santander has grown in markets such as Brazil and the United Kingdom, which are very well positioned vis-à-vis Europe. However, BBVA has focused only on the United States and it has been expensive.

Secondly, this geographic diversification means that revenues come from different places. Thus, 32.61 pct of BBVA's revenues come from Spain and Portugal. By contrast, only 21.81 pct1T of Banco Santander's revenues come from the domestic economy. Therefore, BBVA has more exposure to Spain than Santander, making Santander more international in terms of the nationality of its revenues. Santander has a more balanced presence between emerging and developed markets. Also with the recent acquisition of Banco Popular, the Cantabrian bank values the momentum of Popular.

Another notable difference is their business model. Both banks are very focused on retail banking. However, 14.71 BTP1T of Santander's revenues come from wholesale banking and 85.31 BTP1T from commercial banking. BBVA has 8.51 BTP1T from wholesale banking.

BBVA Investments

BBVA has made 9 investments, three of them in the same company, Atom Bank. Atom Bank is an English mobile banking company that provides both personal and professional banking services via telephone. Thanks to the three investments made by BBVA, Atom Bank has obtained investments of 314M$ in three years.

Similarly, BBVA has also invested in other companies in more modest amounts:

  • Social Point: is a social game developer offering social networking and mobile-enabled games.
  • Solaris Bank: is a platform that enables digital businesses to create customised solutions for their financial needs.
  • R3: is a financial innovation firm dedicated to the design and implementation of DLT (distributed ledger technologies) to build the new operating system for financial services.
  • SumUP: is a card acceptance financial technology company.
  • com: is an e-commerce platform that sells and distributes internationally a wide selection of products from leading US suppliers.
  • Mythos: is an e-commerce solution that allows SMEs, professionals and entrepreneurs to sell online from different available platforms.


Banco Santander Investments

Banco Santander has made one more investment than BBVA, 10 for the Cantabrian bank compared to 9 for the Basque bank. BBVA has made 9 investments compared to Banco Santander, which has made 10, 1 more. Of these investments, it is worth highlighting the one made in 2016 to Seaborn Networks, a company made up of telecommunications executives with a successful track record in development, financing, construction and operation. It received 500M$ from Banco Santander, an investment in the form of debt financing.

In the same way as BBVA, Banco Santander has also made various investments in different companies such as:

  • Salumedia: is a company that provides digital health solutions to empower patients and doctors, including mHealth for cancer prevention and self-management.
  • for Monitise: is a technology and services company offering mobile banking, payments and commerce networks.
  • Three Melons: is a game studio that develops free-to-play web and smartphone games with a social component.
  • Infoxel Media Labs: is a software company focused on data analytics and deep learning solutions.
  • Traak Ltda.: is a company dedicated to the generation of technological research for applications in game development projects.
  • Axesor Marketing Intelligence: is a company that provides ratings, risk management systems and commercial, financial and marketing knowledge.
  • Curve: is a London-based company that offers a platform that allows its users to consolidate all bank cards into a single smart card and application.
  • NBD: is a company dedicated to creating new medicines through artificial intelligence and supercomputing power.

Visible Alpha: is a company that provides a data and analytics platform with comparable forecasting models from the world's leading equity analysts.

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