I hate banks; the times I’ve been screwed by a bank is easily in the double digits. So I remember the first time I was excited for a new bank, when Washington Mutual came around. They were the closest thing to what could be called an un-bank (a bank without all the B.S.). I guess that plan didn’t really work out so well for them since they went bankrupt and became a part of Chase. And just like that, all the cool factors (no-fee atm charges, individual teller kiosks, actual customer service) went out the window with the rest of their liquid assets. Enter Simple.
The premise of Simple is naturally not that complicated: Take everything that sucks about a bank, throw it out, and add in features that are actually useful. There are only 2 ways I use my normal bank: depositing checks and getting out cash. With Simple you deposit checks with a mobile photo or direct deposit, and use the app to find one of thousands of ATMs in their “network” where you can withdraw money for free. Done and done, all with zero fees of any kind. they also have pretty decent stats and graphs on their website that tracks your spending habits and lets you set spending goals. It’s like if Washington Mutual and Mint had a lovechild startup bank.
Other cool features: the ability to differentiate between amount spent at a restaurant vs. amount left for tip, attaching notes and pictures to each purchase to help remember what it actually was (thanks to Simple I now know Js & Jc on my statement is Yogurtland), the ability to cancel a lost card from the app and an easy way to make payments to individuals. Also comes as a cool white card which I think helps to deter people reading your card number.
I applied for an invite to Simple about 6 months ago, and just recently got the card in the mail. It comes attached to a little cardboard card with a big rubberband which detaches to make an uber-minimal wallet. Love it so far. I haven’t completely abandoned Chase but if Simple keeps innovating at the same rapid pace, they’ll have my business for sure.