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BBVA partners with restaurant to launch products on Amazon

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BBVA plan on eventually offering banking products on Amazon

BBVA is launching product sales on Amazon with products from Spanish restaurant El Celler de Can Roca, in an explorational move to eventually offer banking products on the e-commerce platform.

The partnership between the bank and the Michelin three-star restaurant will be used a ‘learning experience’ to enhance short-term sales, share digital expertise and trial the functionality of Amazon’s portal.

BBVA explained that as part of a commitment to digital transformation, its intention is to eventually move into offering banking products on Amazon, as financial institutions must adapt to this way of selling. However, the idea is still to be fully explored, particularly because Amazon has not yet moved into selling financial services directly.

In a blog, the bank said the objective for the restaurant partnership is double-pronged. The bank wants to share its digital expertise so El Celler de Can Roca can benefit in selling their products online, while also providing BBVA with a pilot project to trial functionalities.

It could also pave the way for the bank to offer other types of financial products in the future, the bank said. “Currently BBVA already sells close to 60 per cent of its products over digital channels. Selling through Amazon would extend online sales opportunities, complementing the bank’s proprietary digital channels.”

The products sold on Amazon will be a collection of products from El Celler de Can Roca’s recycling project Roca Recicla, and Rocambolesc, a series of chocolates and sweets crafted by Jordi Roca, one of the three brothers running the restaurant.

The Roca Recicla transforms waste generated by the restaurant business, turning glass bottles into drinking glasses, polystyrene packaging used to transport fish and seafood becomes a stool, and plastic bags used for low-temperature cooking are transformed into aprons, tote bags, and pouches.

The bank and restaurant signed their first collaboration agreement in 2013, and BBVA announced a three-year extension of the agreement in late December 2019.

The move could be a step in the right direction, according to Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group, who commented in the company’s PaymentsJournal that BBVA ‘gets’ the challenges associated with Open Banking.

“BBVA has taken the strategic approach and is looking to leverage API technology to deliver an integration that expands its reach and changes the way consumers think about banking. […] This blog shows that BBVA has shifted its focus to Retail Banking. This is a real, regulated bank focused on slowly integrating to the largest online merchant platform to initially sell and then deliver banking products to consumers.”

BBVA already has a reputation of being a digitally savvy bank, having recently backed companies such as UK challenger bank Atom.

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