BBVA buys banking start-up Simple for $117M

|By:, SA News Editor

"Banks need to take on Amazon and Google or die," wrote BBVA CEO Francisco Gonzalez in the FT two months ago. "Some bankers and analysts think that Google, Facebook, Amazon or the like will not fully enter a highly regulated, low-margin business such as banking. I disagree."

Founded in 2009, based in Portland, and having opened its (online) doors in July 2012, Simple just crossed the 100K customer mark - it has no physical branches and does not offer paper checkbooks. It has no fees and offers customers slick apps with which they can monitor spending activities. The bank's main revenue stream is from intercharge fees from debit card usage.