Simple drops e-billing, and gets heat from consumers

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The digital banking provider Simple has been part of BBVA for five years, and its reputation as an easy way to handle and transfer digital money has only grown in that time frame through the addition of faster payments and P2P services.

But Simple, one of the original startup financial institutions that found their footing during the U.S. recession of 2008, notified its users this week that it was actually dropping a service — the option to pay bills through its app. Instead, Simple customers are being steered toward new paper checks to send payments via mail, according to a TechCrunch report.

The report indicates unhappy customers are flooding social media channels and Simple, of Portland, Ore., responded with an email explaining that use of the Bill Pay feature had been declining and by closing the service the bank would focus more on new services to "benefit a broader number of customers."

The service is scheduled to stop on or after July 9, according to Simple's announcement to customers.

At the same time, Simple is encouraging customers to use the Expenses service as a way to help them manage money and set aside funds for specific bills.

Because Simple was a pioneer in online banking it was essentially a U.S.-based early version of today's current global startup banks, or app developers making inroads within financial services with payments- and banking-related APIs. It is particularly true under the PSD2 rules inviting more third-party involvement in European banking circles.

BBVA and Simple responded only through e-mails to customers and did not issue a media statement or responses to inquiries.

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Bill pay Digital payments Payment processing Simple BBVA