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A simpler bank

posted by Jason Kottke   May 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).

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