kottke.org posts about Alex Payne

A simpler bankMay 26 2010

BankSimple sounds promising...I hope they are able to deliver.

BankSimple is 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 an individualized service, catered to your needs and goals.

It's a return to how banks used to make money before they started charging fees for everything: charge more for borrowing than you pay out in savings interest. From the BankSimple FAQ:

We make money from two sources: interchange and interest margin. Interest margin is the revenue earned from lending, less what they pay on deposits. For example a bank may charge a customer 12% to borrow money, but pay 5% interest on a savings account. The difference, less any defaults on the loan, is revenue to the bank. Interchange is a small revenue source that card issuing banks earn whenever that card is used at a store. Typically banks earn less than 1% for each time the card is used to make a purchase. These are both great revenue streams, but banks got greedy and started charging additional fees to bolster their revenue. Our operation is low cost, so we don't need to rely on extraneous fee revenue.

Early Twitter employee Alex Payne recently left to co-found BankSimple. See also Square (which was also co-founded by a Twitter alum).

Are you moving to San Francisco?Jul 07 2009

If so, Mat Honan has some expectation-adjusting advice for incoming residents.

If you're moving 3,000 (or even 300) miles to live in San Francisco; live in San Francisco. And by I don't simply mean that you should not live in the East Bay or the Peninsula or Marin. I mean live in a part of the city that your great-grandparents would recognize as being San Francisco. Somewhere that was entirely residential, and all of the homes in your neighborhood existed, prior to 1915. If you've only lived in SoMa, you haven't lived in San Francisco.

I'm not a fan of SF, but Mat does a nice job in highlighting the aspects of the city that are difficult to beat.

Update: Alex Payne has some advice for those moving to SF.

For a first world city, San Francisco is dirty. No, filthy. No, disgusting. Whenever I travel outside of San Francisco, I'm amazed at what a disastrous anomaly it is. Sidewalks are routinely covered in broken glass, trash, old food, and human excrement. The smell of urine is not uncommon, nor is the sight of homeless persons in varying states of dishevelment. I frequented tough neighborhoods in DC and Baltimore -- then the murder capital of the nation -- and only in San Francisco have I been actively threatened on the street.

Nailed it. Payne's points are exactly why I didn't like SF at all.

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