Banks are broken. Can @Simplify fix them?

I had big hopes in #BankSimple, rebranded Simple (@Simplify on Twitter). The banking system is totally broken (and especially here in the US) and @Simplify had great plans to fix it. But it is falling short on its promises at least for me. Read on...


  1. I've cced @al3x that I've been following for years. I first met him 3 years ago when he was the genius behind the @Twitter API. He is now the brilliant mind behind Simple. 
  2. That's pretty much the problem. To do what Simple tries to do they need to be accredited and a lot of other painful administrative stuff. They basically need the blessing of the FED (the Federal Reserve). And that's where things get messy, especially if - as a startup - you try to disrupt things.

    The thing is that for me, I just want a Simple Bank. That may seems naive but really I don't think I'm the only one. I'm tired of all those legacy banking system with complicated interfaces (both online and offline) that charge crazy amount of money and forces you to live your life with a debt.
  3. Honestly, that's all I need. Let me put my money somewhere and let me access it whenever and wherever I want (online/offline). Seems like even for doing that, you still need the blessing of the FED. Go figure...

    @Simplify is prompt on social media and got back in touch arguing that they don't check credit history. I'm still waiting for a more thorough explanation on why I was rejected.
  4. This morning I saw that a European friend of mine in San Francisco had the same disappointment
  5. And he is not the only one...
  6. More people including Toby - another fantastic engineer working with @Al3x - confirm that Simple doesn't check credit history, which is a very good thing.
  7. The official account of Simple (@Simplify) chimed in and suggested that the issue might be the lack of banking history.
  8. Now why do we need a banking history in order to be able to open a bank account? There is something I don't quite get here. Again, I just want to give my money to @Simplify, get rid of Bank Of America, and use my money to pay online/offline without ever using credit (as a matter of fact I don't have a credit card, my debit card has a visa number that I can use to pay online - I would also be happy with a system where I need to provision money on my card).

    Having said that, I totally understand that this is a naive approach. That in the real world things are much more complicated and I absolutely admire that those brilliant engineers are tackling such a big problem. In real world there is fraud (ask the @paypal guys about it), money washing, and so on... And they need to protect themselves against that.

    My goal here was more to give the perspective of the user who - at the end of the day - doesn't care and shouldn't even be aware of all the crazy thing happening behind the scene to make the product work. 

    I still have big hopes in @Simplify but the road is still long. Keep it up!

    Feel free to chime in the comments. Would love to know what you guys think about this and please share if you have a better understanding of why things are so complicated...