Simple has 3 specific offerings that make it the best consumer banking solution in the US.
1. Simple's financial incentives are in line with their customers. Simple makes money on interest and interchange. No fee revenue. While not the "sexiest" detail, this makes them fundamentally different from every other retail banking experience.
2. Simple is a technology company. Their web and mobile offerings are in a different class then any other bank. Design and UX are huge priorities.
3. Customer service. Contact Simple. Seriously, do it. (888) 248-0632 or @simplify on Twitter. Real people who really care. I know it's hard to believe, but try it for yourself.
After dealing with a bank that gouged me with fees for years, Simple is a refreshing experience. I can actually pick up my phone and talk to a real person without even having to go through a menu! I don't get charged $20 a month just for using their bank! I really like the iPhone app too. Since I don't have checks with them, to mail my rent and other bills, I simply set up a monthly check that gets mailed by the folks at Simple for me automatically- and there's no fee for that either! I haven't used this bank long enough to come across anything I don't like, but so far, so good! It's so easy to budget for vacations and other goals and see where my money is going each month. For a 20-something who is concerned more with getting help with questions when I need it and assistance with budgeting, and less about getting a better interest rate, this bank is perfect for me.
I found simple and was thrilled to give them a shot. I received my application and then applied using their "simple" form or at least I thought. A couple of days later, I received the following email (trimmed down due to this sites character limits):
"Thank you for applying for an account with Simple. We understand that you may have been a victim of fraud in the past (15 years ago?), and to ensure that the application we received in your name was submitted by you, we need some additional information.
Please send us clear, notarized copies of each of the following items:
Proof of Identification
Proof of Date of Birth
Proof of Social Security Number
Proof of Residence
Signed Request to Open an Account"
Now, I've opened plenty of accounts in the past, including online banks (Ally and Capital One 360), and I totally get that they need to verify identities, but I have never had to go through all of that just to get an account. Capital One called me up and gave me an interview, asking me questions that only I would know, which makes a lot of sense and I can appreciate.
With that said, I was an idiot and made my own form to get notarized (yeah, they don't even give you one), made copies of my ID and SS card, got everything notarized and then mailed it off. Hearing nothing after 2 weeks, I called them and they were no help, saying they probably haven't received it yet. One month later, I received an email saying that my application was denied with a list of 20 different reasons as to why it MAY have been denied. Not one said "we didn't receive your paperwork". When I called the first time, the lady said that I had till Nov. 11th to get it in, and being that I got this notice on Nov. 12th, I knew they never receive it, which means someone now has copies of not only my ID, but also my SS card. So, trying to safeguard my identity likely just got it stolen. Thanks, Simple.
Moral of this story? Don't apply until they get their verification process fixed!