Having heard about an interesting new banking website called Simple, I was intrigued to see what it was all about. So in January 2011, I signed up to receive an invitation from a start-up called “Bank Simple” – later renamed “Simple.” The start-up is based in Portland, Oregon and what caught my eye is that it was a bank – but not just a regular bank – a bank dedicated to someone who actually uses online banking. I later found out that it is not actually a bank at all, but instead partnered with a bank to offer banking services.
I received my invite seven months later in July, and found myself lost with amazement on a banking site. Yes, a banking site actually caught my attention. And I deal with many banks and credit unions on a daily basis but find it hard to keep that much excitement around how much I spend or deposit and whether I’m actually saving or spending my cash (plus some).
Let’s face it – most people don’t balance their checkbook anymore. It’s tough (also boring) trying to figure out how much money you spend on coffee each month. But Simple’s user interface (UI) is slick. It combines two major things I enjoy looking at when trying to figure out my finances. It combines organizing your cash into categories with location services. You can tag your purchases easily – allowing you to divide up and organize your finances how you want, similar to organizing your photos or trying to find something on Twitter.
Simple’s UI amazes me because it has so much potential and you can clearly see the direction the company is going. They have found a niche. Geezeo and Mint have tried, but didn’t quite fill the void. I look forward to seeing how this industry will help those who are trying to make sense out of a very complex topic – by making it truly simpler to bank.