Josh Reich is CEO and founder of Simple, a banking startup that combines the design sensibilities of Square with the common sense of Mint. He has led the company to over half a billion dollars in transactions and 25,000 customers, with over 200,000 more still on the wait list to gain access. Simple also built the first mobile banking app we actually enjoy using. Reich took a few minutes to talk to The Verge about why most banks throw away 97 percent of your spending data, the best calculator ever made, and why we won’t be ditching plastic credit cards anytime soon. You can find him on Twitter at @i2pi.
In March 2011, amid the launch of Apple Inc.'s second-generation iPad, I wrote about how banks could learn from the Cupertino, Calif., company's business model.
Nearly two years later, I am happy to report that the banks have listened, at least a little bit on the consumer side.
The user experience for retail bank customers is much improved. Mobile apps are better at the major banks. Citigroup Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and especially Bank of America Corp. now offer feature-rich mobile products compared to earlier versions.
Third-party offerings are better, too. Mint, owned by Intuit Inc., has produced a suite of mobile software that aggregates multiple accounts regardless of institution, sets budgets and tracks spending, savings and investments. It is a cool tool for people with complicated financial lives.
In all, everyone has made a little progress. But one big problem still remains: fees.
That is where a new entry is shaking things up. It is called Simple. Co-founded by a programmer who got fed up with his bank, Simple aims to cut the clutter of banking through a stripped-down presentation. Simple issues its customers an almost plain, white debit card. There are no checks, auto loans or certificates of deposit.
Simple Stories: Our First Dog
Simple CEO Co-Founder and CEO Josh Reich talks about his company's product to simplify bill paying. He speaks on Bloomberg Television's "Money Moves."
Simple offers an online alternative to traditional banking, with a goal of providing features you care about and excellent customer support. Here's a look at what they have to offer and how you can get faster access to their invite-only service.
I switched to Simple a few months ago and it has made managing my finances far easier than Bank of America. I don't have to worry about fees, I always know how much money I have, I'm alerted about any changes instantly, and the customer support team always offers quick answers to any problems that come up. While online banking isn't for everyone, I've really enjoyed my experience so far. This post details some of the best stuff Simple has to offer and a way to skip to the front the invite queue if you feel like giving it a try.
Today online banking startup Simple announced the first Android version of its app, which is designed to replace traditional personal banking with an online-only experience. The app allows customers to see their balance at a glance, find nearby ATMs, deposit checks, as well as view and categorize their past spending.
The Portland-based startup generated a lot of buzz when it teased the product two years ago, partly because it was cofounded by early Twitter engineer Alex Payne, who has since stepped back into an advisory role at Simple. The company built up a wait list of more than 125,000 potential customers and started sending out invites eight months ago when it launched its iPhone app. However, Android users were told to wait.
Simple is a software and customer service company, not a bank. The startup partners with federally-insured bank Bancorp to handle the money, with the goal of building digital products that make it so that customers never have to walk into a bank again. It’s similar to online banking options offered by ING Direct and Ally Bank.
Like many people, Josh Reich got fed up with his bank after it charged him overdraft fees and he endured painful customer service calls to fight them. But unlike most people, Mr. Reich, a software engineer from Australia, decided to come up with a better way to bank.
Mr. Reich and a co-founder, Shamir Karkal, created Simple, an online banking start-up company based in Portland, Ore., that offers its customers free checking accounts and data-rich analysis of their transactions and spending habits.
Few entrepreneurs dare to set their sights on industries as large and entrenched as banking and expect to flourish. But Mr. Reich, 34, a professed data nerd who has built computers and tinkered with the innards of sophisticated cameras, holds a master’s degree in business and has a robust background in financial data analysis. He is confident that Simple’s minimalist approach — it promises not to charge any fees for any services — will draw fans and customers.
Here at Simple, we aim to outfit you with powerful, uncomplicated tools that enrich and improve your financial life. Thus far, we've focused primarily on spending-- from transaction memos, categories, and hashtags, to flexible, instantaneous searching of your Activity. Heck, we even tell you how much you've been tipping. When you know more, you make better choices, so we created these tools to give you the clearest possible picture of your spending. Today, we'd like to balance the scales a little bit, and focus on budgeting and saving. Today, we're launching Goals.
Simple was launched with a pretty brilliant idea: Make banking easy. Uh, simple, even. To date, the startup has been doing that by allowing users to keep track of where their money is going, with a no-fee banking system, an intuitive iPhone app, pretty neat data visualization tools, and the ability to keep track of how much money is "safe to spend," based on a user's current balance minus upcoming bills. Now it's nudging users to start putting money aside, with the launch of its new Goals feature.
You and I probably don't see eye to eye on everything. You may not agree with my taste in music, or my politics, or my positions on the Oxford comma and tucking in of collared shirts (pro, and only when worn with a tie). But regardless of your race, creed, religion, or stance on the iPad, my guess is we can agree on one fundamental axiom of modern life: banking sucks. Simple is poised to change that.
Simple (formerly known as BankSimple), the startup with $13.1 million in funding to build a better banking experience for customers, has today introduced its first mobile application, surprisingly ahead of its public launch. Operating in private beta/invite-only mode for now, co-founder Joshua Reich says that anyone with a Simple account can now use the app, which had been limited to TestFlight distributions since its private launch last November.
The online banking startup Simple makes no bones about its mission to advocate for consumers: "We started Simple because retail banks have forgotten who their customers are."
ound one goes to the consumers. Most of the big banks decided within the last couple of weeks to scrap their plans for a monthly debit card fee. But the costs really just shifted elsewhere. Bank of America is charging five dollars for a replacement if you lose your debit card. U.S. Bancorp is charging 50 cents to deposit checks with your cell phone.
BankSimple, the well-funded startup that's setting out to build ‘a bank that doesn't suck', has some big news today: it's now allowing its first users into the service. And to mark the occasion, it's announcing another major change: the company is now just called Simple (and yes, they own Simple.com).
Received $10M Series B Funding
Participation IA Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Neu Venture Capital
Received $2.9M Series A Funding
Participation First Round Capital, IA Ventures, Village Ventures, SV Angel, Anthemis Group, Thrive Capital, Lerer Ventures, 500 Startups, Neu Venture Capital
Received $190K Seed Funding
Participation SV Angel, Anthemis Group, Neu Venture Capital