Simple isn’t the first web-based bank on the block, nor is it the first to introduce photo checking deposit, or online budgeting software.
What we admire about the company is its mission to not only make banking easier and more affordable for the masses, but the innovative ways in which it encourages consumers to become more involved in every aspect of their personal finances.
To learn more about Simple's plans for the future, we called up Josh Reich, founder and CEO, for a chat. Here's what we found out:
BI: Your story is well-known by now, but give us a quick recap of how Simple came about?
Josh Reich: We started Simple with the realization that banks make money by keeping customers confused. Banks make money when customers make mistakes... In addition to being absolutely clear with customers about their accounts, thereby diminishing fees, we also help people get a clearer picture of their finances.
BI: What's a Simple customer like?
JR: We want to reach the people who naturally want to understand their money, who have anxieties and questions. People aspire to be the [kind of] people who are on top of their finances, but that's not always the reality.
BI: You've integrated a long-term "Goals" feature on the site, which lets users manage their spending with a long-term goal in mind. How has this worked so far?
JR: We hope to makeover the way people think about spending and saving and work towards a more secure financial standing, as opposed to spending more when we have more, and less when we have less. In fact, we have already seen customers who use the Goals feature decrease their daily spending by 30 percent. Less fluctuation in funds translates to more savings, which translates to more financial security.
BI: You recently partnered up with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for Project Catalyst, which lets consumers suggest innovative ways to change the banking marketplace. Why?
Simple: [The project] drives home Simple's honest approach to banking, and the point of re-educating the American public about living within its means... It's flattering to work with a government agency whose mission is so close with the company's own.
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