March 28, 2014

24 Hours Cashless

I finally spent 24 hours without using cash, paying everthing with my smartphone through our new BBVA Wallet app.   Cab fare, lunch bill, vending machine for afternoon break, supermarket after evening gym.... I did it.... 24 hours without cash or cards.

Nothing like a competition to accelerate the adoption of new habits.  At the bank, we launched a competion among our Spain-based employees.  The top 20 people who use our mobile app by Apr.30 will receive tickets for the final phase of LigaBBVA.  For me, I'm more motivated by the bragging rights, so I've been using my smartphone anywhere I can find a contactless terminal.  Today I was #15 in the ranking....

March 14, 2014

The Guggenheim Effect

Every Bilbao local I met over the three days I spent in this amazing Basque city spoke to me about the Guggenheim effect - the powerful transformation the city went through after the '97 opening of The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao by Frank Gehry.  Urban revitalization powered by architecture, art and vision.  Great architecture has the power of creating a canvas for human achievement, boost tourism, attract investment, provide a community with a renewed sense of pride and help transform the world around it, provoking an economic ripple effect.  I guess that is what's happening here along the Nervion River.

How can architecture touch other aspects of our lives?
What type of transformation can architecture fuel within public schools, universities, corporations?

A year from now, we're moving to a new corporate campus outside Madrid designed by Herzog and de Meuron.  It will be very exciting to see how the new space will inspire new ways-of-working, collaboration, innovation, as we build our digital banking future.

I just added Bilbao to my list of special places...

My Instagram photo of the museum taken at sunset...