Can banking really be simple? Twitter engineer quits to become co-founder of Banksimple.net

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17 May 2010
Jacob Jegher
The folks at Twitter must have a secret love for financial services. First Jack Dorsey goes off to start Square and now Alex Payne jumps ship to become co-founder of banksimple.net. What is banksimple.net? A recent TechCrunch post led me to some interesting info on the firm. Their web site states that they are “an easy, intuitive, and social bank for people who appreciate simple online services. Unlike other banks, we don’t trap you with confusing products nor do we charge any hidden fees. No overdraft fees. We use sophisticated analytics to help you better manage your finances by providing you a individualized service, catered to your needs and goals.“ A recent blog entry further expands on their intentions. “We have absolutely no intention of spending your money on high-budget ads. The best way to sell a product is to have a kick-ass product. And for us this means no hidden fees, fantastic online experience, awesome customer service and, a much simpler, personalized financial service.” Does their idea sound great - absolutely. Is it as simple to pull off as they make it sound? Not even close. Startups consistently underestimate the requirements of jumping into the banking space (as was recently demonstrated by Square at their NACHA Payments keynote address). Banksimple.net has lofty goals. It sounds like Nirvana and I'll believe it when I see it.

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