If you can't beat him ... join him. The BBVA Financial Group acquired the most revolutionary of digital banks and, through an Inbound process, is advancing in the conquest of the future.

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Francisco González Rodríguez is 70 years old and has a personal bank account that exceeds two billion dollars.

At a time when 80 percent of Europeans his age are receiving less than $ 2,000 a month in pensions, this financial veteran has made important decisions that suggest he doesn't even dream of quitting business. And the most incredible thing: he was and is more innovative than most of his executives, who are 20 years ahead of him.

Gonzalez has had one hit after another for 30 years:

  • In 1987 he founded the Sociedad de Valores FG Inversiones, which was acquired by Merril Lynch.
  • From 1996 he was president of the largest Spanish public banking company, called Argentaria.
  • Since 2000 he has been Chairman of BBVA, the result of the merger of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya and Argentaria.
  • In 14 years, it increased its share value by 8, focusing mainly on BBVA's growth in Latin America.


For 117 million dollars, which for BBVA is very little, it has agreed to purchase Simple , an American company that has created a new and extraordinary way of doing digital banking, using Inbound Marketing as its central strategy.

The operation is part of González's strategy to lead the technological changes that are transforming the financial industry, something that many of his executives had been denying.

"Simple's customer experience is unmatched in the world of digital banking," Gonzalez said when announcing the deal months ago.

And we say that 117 million is nothing because, with that money, BBVA manages that Simple reinforces its global digital transformation and at the same time has the resources to maximize its enormous growth potential in the United States.

This success story was documented by Wobi Media Group, with whom GROU, the leading agency in the development of Inbound Marketing in Mexico, has an alliance for the exchange of valuable content.

Simple, based in Portland, Oregon, was founded only in 2009 and was authorized to operate as a bank in July 2012.

Simple has more than 200,000 customers in the United States, five times the number of users it had at the end of 2012.

Through an extremely simple platform and an online relationship designed to attract and retain customers, they have managed to increase sales with tools that banks have never used before.

The bank, which has no physical branches, offers its customers everything they need to spend smarter and save more.

Customers have a Visa Simple card, as well as advanced applications for Android and Apple, which include savings tools, incredible and useful financial information blogs with valuable content and an extremely differentiated customer service.

Simple will continue to operate under the same brand, with the same philosophy and the same approach.

Joshua Reich, co-founder and CEO, along with Shamir Karkal, co-founder and CFO, continue to lead the organization, made up of just 90 employees.

Following the acquisition of Simple, the Spanish, through its venture capital project BBVA Ventures, which operates in San Francisco, is investing in disruptive financial services initiatives.

Some of the investments are:

  1. SumUp, a Berlin-based startup dedicated to card payments via mobile phone.
  2. Radius, an American company that provides business intelligence to 3 million small and medium-sized businesses.
  3. Freemonee, which analyzes transactional information from its customers to make them attractive commercial offers from retail businesses.
  4. Ribbit Capital, a venture capital fund specialized in financial technology.

BBVA Ventures operates in the United States from the representative office in San Francisco.


González does not want to stay in Simple. He is obsessed with transforming a traditional bank into a digital knowledge services company.

To accelerate the transformation of the group, it has just announced drastic changes in the BBVA Management Committee, creating the Digital Banking business area, with Carlos Torres Vila at the helm.

At age 45, this Engineer will be responsible for the entire commercial offer, the multichannel strategy, the distribution model and the design of the commercial and operational processes.

Digital Banking will develop a culture focused on execution, project management through small teams with full autonomy and the incorporation of internal and external talent.

With the creation of this area, the second phase of the group's transformation begins, after completing the development of the new technological platforms in a first stage.

Torres Vila graduated in Electrical Engineering and Business Administration in 1988 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he later also received an MBA from the Sloan School of Management.


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