The Rise of Simple

The Rise of Simple

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital banking, the acquisition of Simple by Spanish banking company BBVA made headlines when it was announced in 2014. Simple, a US-based company that had established itself as a pioneer in digital banking, was acquired by BBVA for a staggering $117 million [1]. This move was part of BBVA’s strategy to lead the technology-driven change that was transforming the financial services industry [3]. In this article, we will delve into the details of this acquisition, exploring the motivations behind it and its potential impact on the digital banking sector.


The Rise of Simple

Simple, founded in 2009, aimed to provide customers with a more humane alternative to traditional banking. By leveraging technology and user-centric design, Simple offered a streamlined and intuitive banking experience [4]. The company gained popularity for its user-friendly mobile app, which allowed customers to manage their finances effortlessly. Simple’s emphasis on transparency and customer satisfaction resonated with a growing number of individuals seeking a modern banking solution [1].

BBVA’s Digital Banking Expansion

BBVA, one of the largest banks in Spain, recognized the importance of digital transformation in the financial services industry. The acquisition of Simple was a strategic move to accelerate BBVA’s digital banking expansion and stay ahead of the curve [3]. By integrating Simple’s innovative approach to banking into its operations, BBVA aimed to enhance its customer experience and strengthen its position in the digital banking market.

The Significance of the Acquisition

The acquisition of Simple by BBVA signaled a shift in the traditional banking landscape. It highlighted the increasing importance of technology and customer-centricity in the industry. BBVA’s decision to acquire Simple for $117 million demonstrated the value it placed on innovative digital banking solutions [1]. This acquisition also showcased BBVA’s commitment to staying competitive in the face of disruptive fintech startups that were challenging traditional banking models.

Implications for the Digital Banking Sector

The acquisition of Simple by BBVA had significant implications for the digital banking sector. Firstly, it demonstrated that established banks were willing to invest substantial amounts in acquiring innovative fintech companies to enhance their digital capabilities [1]. This trend has continued in recent years, with several other major banks acquiring fintech startups to bolster their digital offerings.

Secondly, the acquisition highlighted the importance of user-centric design and seamless customer experiences in the digital banking space. Simple’s success was largely attributed to its intuitive app and transparent approach to banking [4]. By incorporating Simple’s design principles into its operations, BBVA aimed to improve its own digital offerings and attract a new generation of tech-savvy customers.

Lastly, the acquisition of Simple by BBVA showcased the potential for collaboration between traditional banks and fintech startups. While fintech companies often challenge traditional banking models, partnerships and acquisitions can create synergies that benefit both parties. BBVA’s acquisition of Simple allowed the bank to tap into Simple’s expertise and innovative solutions, while Simple gained access to BBVA’s extensive resources and customer base [3].


The acquisition of Simple by BBVA for $117 million marked a significant milestone in the digital banking sector. It demonstrated BBVA’s commitment to digital transformation and its recognition of the value of user-centric design and innovative fintech solutions. This acquisition not only showcased the potential for collaboration between traditional banks and fintech startups but also highlighted the increasing importance of technology and customer-centricity in the industry. As the digital banking landscape continues to evolve, acquisitions like this will shape the future of banking, paving the way for more seamless and customer-focused financial services.

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