Portland, Oregon’s Simple is disrupting the banking space by making short work of all the pain points we’ve had to deal with in conventional banking for so long.
The company is the iPhone of banking — using its app to manage your money, you see nothing but a beautiful and intuitive user interface. All that ugly financial wizardry that we know has to happen stays where it belongs: out of sight. In short, Simple is a virtual alternative to your regular banking account.
Co-founder Joshua Reich explained to us at the Money2020 conference in Las Vegas that his company aims to solve problems by using design.
The problem they most recently solved?
It’s a new feature called Money Drop and it’s peer-to-peer, frictionless, and instantaneous. Any two people who are physically near each other and have a Simple account can send each other money.
Money Drop is embedded right into the standard Simple app that all its customers already use. When you want to send somebody some money, you fire up the Simple app, go to the money drop menu, and find the person’s face on your screen. By swiping from your face to the recipient’s face, you can send them the money straight from your bank account.
Because the transaction all takes place on Simple’s network, the transfer is instantaneous.
The feature is free — no fees whatsoever. Give your roommates your share of the rent, split a dinner check, send your grandson some money.
Here’s what it looks like:
In the screen on the left we see that hypothetical user Mimi is nearby three other Simple account holders. By dragging the picture of her face over the person she wants to send money to, she brings up the dialogue on the right. In this case she’s sending $US19 to Tom. As soon as everything is confirmed, the transaction takes place instantaneously.
This is the first mobile payment system that I could actually see myself using. I often have cause to split small bills with friends. Lunch, coffee, whatever. Money Drop makes this about as easy as it could possibly be. My only complaint is that both parties have to have a Simple account. While we’re far away from seeing everybody open a Simple account, that doesn’t mean it’s impractical. Simple will grow as more and more people and realise that there are easier ways to manage your money.
Money Drop is the type of feature that could cause Simple users to become de facto evangelists — “Oh, if you had this really cool free banking app, then I could send you that money I owe you instantly.”
Simple has built a beautiful streamlined product and Money Drop is as easy of a feature to use as it could be. The same way that Apple’s AirDrop feature lets you wirelessly transfer files between computers, Simple’s Money Drop does the same thing to move money between people.
We’ll be doing more with Simple in the future, so stay tuned.