Simple’s move to a new bank API leaves some customers stranded
Simple, the Portland, Oregon-based branchless bank founded in 2009, has discovered that moving accounts to its parent bank’s application programming interface, or API, is not that simple.
In the process of moving approximately 100,000 customer accounts to BBVA’s U.S. API, Simple blamed unspecified “logistical issues” for its inability to move no more than 0.7 percent of those accounts. Spain-based financial institution BBVA bought Simple in 2014 for $117 million.
“Now that we’re approaching the end of our relationship with our current partner bank, we have to close all the accounts we haven’t moved yet—including yours,” Simple said in a statement to affected customers, according to reports and posts on Twitter. Simple will close those accounts on May 13. The bank invited those customers to open new accounts. “If you can look past our clumsiness with this move and you’d still like to bank with us, we’d love to have you.”
Simple in late 2015 said it would eliminate all consumer fees and will rely exclusively on earning interest and interchange for its revenues. The move built on the trend of financial services providers cutting the cost of basic banking services for consumers looking for alternatives to traditional full-service bank relationships.