Former Simple Customers Undergo Rough Transition to BBVA

Chanelle BessetteMay 13, 2021

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In early 2021, popular financial institution Simple announced that it would be closing and that all customer accounts would become bank accounts under its parent bank, BBVA. The official transition happened Saturday, May 8 — and things haven’t gone smoothly.

Not long after the account transition, Simple-turned-BBVA customers started to notice problems.

“Accounts were converted successfully,” said a BBVA USA spokesperson by email, “However, due to the volume of customers attempting to enroll in mobile and online banking simultaneously, there were technical difficulties with the enrollment process.” The high number of calls to BBVA overwhelmed the system, leading to long wait times.

Customers turned to social media to express their ire. Many tweeted that they were having trouble accessing their online accounts and money after the transition, and some said they'd been unable to get through to a customer service representative.

BBVA took to Twitter on May 8 to acknowledge the issues and reassure customers it was working on them. But glitches continued. On May 11, BBVA alerted customers on Twitter about the system outage in the call center and clarified common questions.

“We want to reiterate that debit cards, ATMs, checks and scheduled transactions continue to function as usual,” BBVA said.

The bank announced later that day on Twitter that the call center was up and running again, but many customers conveyed dissatisfaction with the delay, and some said they still had problems accessing their online accounts and customer service.

“Teams are working around the clock to clear up any remaining issues, including extending hours in our call center and adding staff to handle the incoming calls, as volumes from the challenges remain high,” said a BBVA spokesperson by email.

If the technical difficulties at BBVA are getting you down, you have two main options.

If BBVA’s account offerings appeal to you, then sit tight while the bank resolves its technical issues. If you’re having trouble reaching customer service, you can find updates on BBVA’s website, mobile app and social media. And even if you’re having trouble logging in to your account, you should still be able to make debit card transactions. BBVA also operates more than 600 branches across the southern and western U.S. if you’d like in-person service.

“Needless to say, this is not how we wanted your conversion and first experience with BBVA to go and we are sincerely sorry,” the bank said on Twitter on May 9. “You are telling us it is unacceptable, and you are right. We are doing everything we can to make this situation right.”

If the transition experience has soured you to BBVA, that might be closer to what you’re used to. While there’s no direct replacement for Simple, many alternatives have strong online resources, budgeting features, good customer service and solid interest rates. Consider checking out accounts at Varo, Chime, or for some features that are similar to what Simple offered. There are also a number of that could provide a good return on your money in addition to other benefits.

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