Simple started out 4yrs ago to "build a bank that doesn’t suck".. Now that BBVA own it will the two become a new powerhouse bank?
What the team at Simple likely discovered is what everyone in the industry already knew: it's hard to be a bank (or even a payment provider). It's even more difficult to start a de novo bank with the capital requirements and regulatory burden. This is the case even for a branchless. digital-only de novo. So their pivot to partner with Bancorp Bank made perfect sense. The eventual issue likely came down to running out of money as Simple required additional investment to grow. Burning through their initial $15-16 million investment, the revenue model needed to expand as much as their team in Portland. With a transparent goal of reducing bank fees, credit products and traditional loan income needed to be bolted on. A deposit-focused neo-bank could not live on interchange alone.