In a bid to help the growing number of workers making a living via the so-called “Gig Economy,” BBVA has partnered with digital business account platform Azlo to make it easier for SMEs take advantage of both domestic and cross-border banking services.
“Azlo’s goal is to level the playing field for the growing number of entrepreneurs and small businesses who wish to participate in an expanding global economy that is driven by entrepreneurs, small business owners, and freelance professionals,” said Azlo CEO Brian Hamilton.
Azlo, of which BBVA is the majority-owner, provides online banking services as well as workshops, live events and a community of entrepreneurial talent. Founded in 2017, the firm leverages BBVA’s banking license and payment infrastructure to offer its services in the U.S., and observers believe that the launch of Azlo will make it that much easier for BBVA to access the American market. In a press release accompanying the announcement, BBVA noted that 43% of workers in the United States are expected to be serving as freelancers by 2020.
“What distinguishes Azlo is its focus on the new economy,” Azlo Entrepreneur-in-Residence Ramona Ortega said. “(This includes) millennials and underrepresented entrepreneurs, and creating a deep and valuable relationship with its customers through community engagement.”
Headquartered in Madrid, Spain, BBVA demonstrated its Stockbuzz.es technology at FinovateEurope 2013. The solution enables users to monitor market sentiment as expressed on Twitter for potential insights into future market activity. Regarded as one of the most innovative European banks in terms of fintech adoption, BBVA was founded in 1857, and now has more than 117,000 employees working in more than 30 countries. The bank’s Group Executive Chariman, Francisco Gonzalez Rodriguez, was named to One World Identity’s Top 20 Identity Influencers earlier this month. Last fall, BBVA announced a partnership with Samsung last fall to bring iris scanning technology to smartphones.