Saturday, January 29, 2011


I can't wait for BankSimple, the cure to crappy banking. It was started by ex-Twitter engineer, Alex Payne. Check out this great e-mail exchange I had with the VP of Product Marketing. I honestly didn't think I would get a human response to my e-mail with my criticisms about Chase. I'm having great customer service experience already!

> Hello there,


> I'm Adam, from BankSimple. A little bit ago, you requested an

> invite for our service. Thank you for that! While we haven't

> sent out any invitations yet, we are working hard to begin

> opening up BankSimple for you to try soon.


> In the meantime, I would love to hear about what you want from

> your bank: what would your ideal experience look like? What do

> you like about your current bank, and what would you change?


> We can't wait to show you what we've been building – and to get

> your insight into how we can make it better.


> You can also keep up with us by following us on Twitter at

> or on our blog at



> I hope to hear from you soon.


> Adam



> Adam Erlebacher

> VP Product Marketing


Dear BankSimple,

I am so excited about you! For the past half year, I have grown pretty tired of my current bank (Chase). The only thing I like about it is that it has so many locations and ATMs in Walgreens. Other than that, I loathe the max transfers per month between accounts (6, after that you get hit with a fee), balance minimums, overdraft fees, limited weekend hours, and the chore of having to go through a telephone menu when trying to reach a human on the phone. Oh, and I try to avoid going into the store lest I be approached by an manager in a suit who will sit me down for 10 extra minutes to go over my accounts and attempt to hook me into signing up for more credit cards. I know my bank is a business, but can't they at least try to make the customer experience a positive one? I would like to see iPhone camera check processing done in one day, better customer phone support, no ridiculous fees, no minimums, higher interest rates, the ability to use any ATM without a fee, and if there is a physical location, non-cheesy interior design.



Dear Frances,

Thank you for your email! I appreciate the detailed feedback. As a Chase customer myself (for now), I'm very familiar with what you describe!

First and foremost, we are focused on creating an amazing experience, both online and mobile. The interfaces will be beautiful, functional, and intuitive – modern interfaces that you will enjoy using. In addition to core personal banking services such as free online bill pay, fast and painless money transfers (instantaneous to other BankSimple customers), and access to 50,000 free ATMs, we will also allow you to deposit checks using your smartphone. We consider "speed" to be a feature, so expect fast and easy transaction searches, too. And of course we will have great customer service (phone, email, and chat) so that you can always reach a human being at any time.

We won't be hitting you with unexpected fees. No monthly charges either. In fact, the only time we would charge you a fee would be if the cost of the service you request is too expensive for us not to pass on the cost (i.e. international wire transfers). In those cases, you will know exactly what the cost is before-the-fact. The BankSimple debit card will not allow you to overdraft – the card will be declined if there is not enough in the account to process the charge. Later, we will offer a small and completely optional line of credit to cover you in the case of an overdraft.

I hope that the above gives you a better sense of what our service will offer. Should you have any other feedback or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

We look forward to serving you as a customer in the not-too-distant future.



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