The “Customer Spotlight” series shines a light on DocuSign customers that are accelerating their businesses with digital signatures.

BBVA Switzerland’s Business Development Director, Javier Rubio, discusses how this leading financial institution navigated its country’s strict regulations to provide an optimum experience for high-net-worth individuals around the world.

Javier, can you give us an overview of BBVA Switzerland and your role within the company?  

BBVA Switzerland is the only bank in the BBVA Group devoted exclusively to private banking since 1982. As part of a global financial group that is heading banking transformation worldwide, we combine experience with a new-era innovative spirit.

I am the Business Development Director, in charge of the value proposition we present to our customers. I also oversee a team that implements digital solutions that will improve the customer experience.

You mention the customer experience. Is that your main reason for implementing digital technologies such as DocuSign?

Definitely. I think the customer experience is more important than ever to create real value for our customers. Improving their experience will bring new opportunities for us, so it’s definitely a driver for us to innovate.

We decided to choose DocuSign because of the usability of the platform and the quality of the cloud-based system DocuSign offers to deliver documents and to improve our customers’ experience with the bank.

Security is, of course, paramount for a financial institution. Was this factored into your decision to go with DocuSign?

The financial industry in Switzerland is a highly-regulated sector. Even more regulated than in other parts of the world. So, the protection laws are stronger than in other countries. We also have bank secrecy, which is a law that applies in Switzerland.

In terms of security, we opted for a hybrid solution with DocuSign, utilising the cloud-based solution to route documents for signature digitally while maintaining a Signature Appliance in our data centre. That provides on-premise control over digital certificates and signatures.

Can you describe specifically how BBVA Switzerland will use DocuSign?

We will use DocuSign as a tool for account document management. We previously sent the documents to clients for them to fill out by hand and we wanted to improve this with digital signatures.

I also see a lot of possibilities to use digital signatures for other parts of the company within areas such as HR, during the hiring process for example, or when interacting with other vendors.

Were there any other business challenges aside from improving the customer experience that you wanted to improve upon with digital signatures?

Yes, previously, when a new customer opened an account with us, we’d send them a form to sign, usually via email as a PDF. The client would need to print and sign it, then return it by courier. Once we received the signed document, it would be reviewed internally. If the documents were wrong, we’d have to return the document to them to complete and resend. So, it wasn’t the most efficient process. However, it’s how most of our competitors are working in today’s market.

When you have a bank that works with more than 15 countries and clients who are thousands of miles away from Switzerland, and you are delivering them documents using courier services, as you can imagine, it’s not the most efficient way to do business. It also doesn’t offer a great customer experience. We wanted to break the mold and demonstrate it is possible to do business in a different, more innovative way.

Do you have an idea of how much time it took your teams to prepare documents previously?

Our team conducted a general study and found the number of hours and resources that were required to provide physical documents was incredible. The cost of having people receive and review the documents manually; scanning and storing them, as you can imagine, was very expensive.

So, we decided to implement digital signatures to be more efficient and offer BBVA customers a means to better interact with the bank. Our goal is to reduce the time to collect information and to give convenient ways to sign documents. In our industry, clients are extremely demanding, so we should deliver high-end solutions to them.

How did you first hear about DocuSign?

The BBVA Group is a shareholder of DocuSign and we were informed that our headquarters had a relationship with DocuSign. However, we analysed the market before deciding and we evaluated some other competitors, but we concluded DocuSign would be the best fit for us as a bank.

What were the deciding factors that made BBVA Switzerland choose DocuSign over the competition?

I think there is a clear advantage of DocuSign over competitors in the market. The usability of the cloud-based system is amazing in comparison with other providers of digital signatures around the world.

I think DocuSign’s main advantage is the document lifecycle management it offers. It’s highly convenient and offers a great customer experience. Secondly, the solution is available 24/7, which allows us to work with it worldwide. It’s a scalable platform and it adheres to enhanced security accreditations for highly regulated industries such as ours. The other competitors I’ve analysed don’t have such a platform. Local Swiss providers, for example, don’t have the cloud or the engine that provides the user experience our customers desire.

What advice would you give to anyone in your position who are looking to go digital?

I think, firstly, they must understand their own business and see how processes are working; if they are efficient or not. For me, digital signature is a no-brainer. It is used in most countries, and developed countries should implement it as quickly as possible.

Very insightful, Javier. Thank you for sharing!

To learn more about the partnership, read how BBVA became the first private bank in Switzerland to offer its clients the digital signature service.