Unoe closes and becomes part of BBVA: the end of native online banking?

At the beginning of December, the online bank Uno-e surprised customers and visitors to its website with a message that sounded like a farewell message: “Due to our upcoming merger with BBVA, this option is not available. If you are already a customer, you can access the simulators from your private area. If you are not a customer, we invite you to get to know».

A farewell letter that marks the end of one of the pioneers of online banking in our country. One-e closes definitively.

Update: 12/12/16

BBVA has taken definitive control of the Unoe website, where users who do not know how to act can find instructions to access their accounts. In addition, BBVA has made available to you a basic guide with the most common questions that may arise. In the words of the entity itself, Unoe customers “will have access to a greater catalog of products and services from a wide range of channels (web, mobile and telephone line), where they will be able to operate with a single access code”.

The closure of Unoe marks the end of a stage at BBVA

We had known for a long time that this moment was going to come: on March 31, BBVA’s board of directors announced the start-up of the «merger process by absorption of Unoe Bank (Unoe), an entity wholly owned by the BBVA Group».

with its release in March 2000, The Spanish bank had been a pioneer in online banking in our country, but the directors of the powerful financial group have decided that the time has come to put an end to this stage.

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As explained in March by the firm spokespersons: «The group reinforces its transformation process by incorporating all its digital clients under the same brand. Unoe’s current business will be integrated and developed from BBVA, taking advantage of the bank’s capabilities and differential value proposition. From a business point of view, the operation allows a more efficient use of the BBVA Group’s resources”.

During these 16 years, Unoe had assumed the enormous effort of breaking through in a sector that was still in its infancy, that of native online banking, which during the first years it had very few competitors in an area in which the Internet was coming out of its prehistory and (almost) nobody trusted online banking operations.

In any case, precisely that factor, that of having been a pioneer, helped Unoe was making a hole in the minds of those who were looking to operate online and forget about queues, hassles and schedules in traditional banking.

Thanks to this, already a few extremely aggressive pricing policies (and attractive), Unoe got survive the terrible financial crisis of 2007, quietly witness the lamination, death and accelerated cremation of dozens of banks and savings banks and accumulate 1.6 million customers in Spain… who will now join the BBVA lists.

What has one done wrong?

In any case, Unoe had long since it had lost power in the sector. With more and more banks launching their own native online operators and (above all) with the improvement of the functioning of online banking for traditional entities, Unoe’s proposals were less and less attractive.

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Even his presence in the face of customers had suffered significantly: a frankly unusable website, old-fashioned and unattractive seemed to announce for a long time that its hours were numbered, especially if we compare this discreet deployment of means with the power of proposals such as that of ING Direct, the bank that has known best from the outset to take advantage of all the resources that the Internet offers to the bank.

Unoe closes: impact on social networks

Of course, the news that Unoe closes permanently, which will become effective on December 12, has not left the bank’s customers indifferentwho have begun to show their doubts about a decision that suddenly leaves them in the hands of BBVA.

Sad that it ceases to exist. Uno-e has always seemed very professional and honest to me. I don’t want to become a customer

— Joachim Schwidtal (@j_schwidtal)

After the change, which will be my BBVA branch? Well, the normal thing is that your account belongs to a specific branch, right?

— root sudo (@a_meinhof)

Hello, how can one oppose the transfer of data to BBVA for the merger?

— Marc Palau Insa (@Luppomarc)

Unoe closes: a sector in a continuous process of change

The truth is that the closure of Unoe is not the only relevant change that has taken place in the Spanish financial sector in recent times. Just as the 2007 crisis caused a bankocalypse among traditional entities, 2016 is serving to see how online banks are reconverted to continue surviving (And growing).

As in the case of Bancopopular-e (the digital version of Banco Popular), which has surprisingly been renamed Wizink (“Your simple bank”, z included) or the one of CaixaBank, que, (“The first 100% mobile bank”). Others, like bankialink, they have taken the same path as Unoe and have also been integrated into his matrix.

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What will be the next step in this process? Will we see all the greats of native online banking in our country fall one by one?

For now, the conclusion on the closure of Unoe seems clear: those who know how to adapt to the new reality of the financial sector on the Internet and to changes in user preferences will be able to continue operating and obtaining profitability (for now).

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