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BBVA launches gender-neutral customer service chatbot

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentina has taken a steps to eliminate gender bias in business by deliberately building and launching a gender-neutral chatbot, known as "Blue" to answer customers' questions about BBVA's financial services.

By creating Blue, the bank hopes to unite the multiple virtual assistants employed across its network and avoid unjustified social stereotypes, According to a report in Finextra. Blue doesn't identify itself as human or as a robot, which was the ultimate goal for the design team.

"The reason we chose not to assign Blue a gender is when we defining its personality, we were clear that it was non-human," BBVA design manager, Julián García Ruiz said in the report. "Being able to reflect Blue's non-human nature while creating a balance between inclusive language and the need for clarity and space limitations helped us hone the uniqueness of our assistant."

The task of creating Blue fell to Ruiz and 12 designers, six product owners, three program managers, and 20 developers across BBVA's global network. The project took almost two years to complete. The chatbot is operational in Spain and Mexico, but will be gradually be introduced across all branches and online channels.