Simple shutdown leaves US customers in the lurch

By Aisling Finn on Monday 10 May 2021

Digital Banking

Accounts were transferred over to BBVA on Saturday, but a technical glitch meant that some customers were locked out of their new accounts.

Simple shutdown leaves US customers in the lurch
Image source: Simple

 

News first broke back in January that Simple, one of the earliest digital banks, was to close its doors for good, although it hasn’t been smooth sailing.

Spanish bank BBVA’s US arm, which was home to Simple, was acquired by US bank PNC back in November 2020 for an eye-watering $11.6bn.

But, when the official shutdown occurred on Saturday, it appears there were a few teething problems.

Instead of being able to seamlessly transition over to its parent company BBVA, Simple’s customers were left unable to access their accounts at all.

According to US publication The Verge, all Simple accounts were successfully transitioned over to BBVA but a technical issue meant that some users had trouble logging into their new accounts. 

There is now a red banner across the top of Simple’s former homepage apologising for the disruption.

“BBVA sincerely apologizes for the system errors many Simple customers have experienced. Our teams have worked around the clock to resolve issues and make things right,” the note reads. 

The message told customers to try logging in with their new details if they were experiencing issues and reassured them that “debit card, scheduled payments/deposits and other transactions are unaffected by these login issues.”

BBVA’s decision to shutter Simple back in January 2021 sent shockwaves through its customer base as it was well-loved by its users.

Simple first opened its app to customers in 2012 and, like other digital banks, it had no physical branches and was largely accessed via its mobile app.

Hailed as one of the first challenger banks, Simple was founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis by former CEO Josh Reich, former CTO Alex Payne and former CFO Shamir Karkal, before being acquired by BBVA USA for $117m in 2014.

Reich continued to lead the digital banking service until 2018 when he decided that, after 10 years at the helm of the fintech, it was time to move on.

Sign up for our newsletters


Your daily 7am download of all things alternative finance and fintech.

Fintech and alternative finance headlines with an exclusive Editor's Note each week. Delivered Monday at midday.