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Transition From Waterfall Mind-Set

One of the biggest challenges product development is facing nowadays is how to successfully handle this transition. Read more about BBVA’s approach.

What is the biggest challenge banking is facing in terms of product development nowadays?

One of the biggest challenges the banking sector is facing is how to effectively move from a waterfall mind-set where you had “certainties” – for instance once a year budget allocation, stable product and development teams – to a very “uncertain” environment where the strategies and the resources have to constantly adapt to an unknown environment.

BBVA started several years ago with the adoption of agile and design thinking methodologies and it has proven to be a great success, even more so in the context of COVID-19. We have been able to allocate resources to the most strategic projects and products thanks to our quarterly planning process and bi-weekly performance reviews.

What are the main regulatory approaches in design and distribution of banking products?

Customers request similar user experience and journeys regardless of where they are based or where they are using an application. FinTechs have successfully managed to provide this.

However, when it comes to banks, personal and enterprise data regulation is very strict and it should be homogeneously regulated in all countries in order to effectively compete with other digital players. Unfortunately, each country has different regulations which makes it harder.

What does the future hold for product development?

Product development evolution, from waterfall with annual releases to agile with MVPs (minimum viable product) every two to four weeks is going to speed up. The challenge is how to balance more product and services launches while maintaining the expected quality and security. As banks, we cannot allow one of our products or services to have reliability or fraud issues.


Sergio ORTEGA, Director – Global Commercial Cards Product Owner from BBVA is responsible for BBVA’s global commercial cards solution development enabling local, regional and global enterprises to homogeneously manage the expenses made with commercial cards in BBVA footprint (Europe, LAC & USA). Sergio has 15 years of experience in Payments Systems, first in BBVA Spain (consumer issuing, acquiring and innovation) and since 2012 in global positions focused on commercial cards. He is leading BBVA’s global commercial cards solution business line development from scratch following design thinking & agile methodologies, coordinating cross-functional local, global, business & IT teams. Sergio has a Master Degree in Computer Science from Deusto University (Spain) and Aalborg University (Denmark). He also has an Executive MBA from Esade Business School (Spain).

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