Simple Goes Fee-Free

  • Philip Ryan
  • September 9, 2015
  • 0

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / dotshockSimple has gone the way of Dwolla — it’s completely fee-free.

Simple’s free policy went into effect today.

The BBVA-owned banking service has set the standard for ease of use, clean design, and low fees since its launch in 2012. Make that “low fees” into “no-fees” as of today. This morning on its blog, the Portland, Ore.-based financial services company listed 10 fees it would never charge. It should be noted that Simple has never charged for most services listed below anyway:

  1. Monthly maintenance fee
  2. Out of network ATM fee
  3. Inactivity fee
  4. Card replacement fee
  5. Incoming wire transfer fee
  6. Overdraft fee
  7. Treasurer’s check fee
  8. Stop payment fee
  9. Foreign ATM fee
  10. Over-the-counter withdrawal fee

While most fees here did not apply to Simple customers in any case, the ATM fees in particular did, and Simple will be giving up some money there. But millennials are also heavily reliant on debit cards, and their collective aversion to cash may result in the decline of the ATM.

How will Simple make money? “Interest and interchange,” a spokeswoman from the company told Bank Innovation. Here’s Simple CEO Josh Reich’s blog post making the same point.

Simples schedule of fees tells the story: lots of zeroes. There is one lonely fee at the bottom for international debit transactions — up to 1% of the transaction value. But the fee is carefully marked as a fee from the Visa network, not Simple or its parent bank BBVA, which acquired the startup in 2014.

Millennials hate fees, so this should only make Simple more attractive to them. But what does it mean for Simple’s long-rumored plans to enter into car loans, student loans and home loans? Loan products without late fees would truly be news.

Get more innovation intelligence at Bank Innovation Israel on Nov. 10-11 in Tel Aviv. Click here for details. 

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Philip Ryan is Senior Editor of Bank Innovation and Senior Director of INV Fintech. He began covering financial services in 2012 and has more than 15 years' experience in online journalism. He can be reached at

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