US banking startup BankSimple is inviting its first customers onboard and rebranding the company to plain Simple.
BankSimple issued its first cards to staff back in May and presented the first glimpse of its user interface in September. The startup is promising to shake up the staid world of traditional banking - construed as out-of-touch with customer sentiment and powered by legacy technology - by providing customers with straightforward banking products viewed through the prism of a modern Web 2.0 front-end.
Announcing the opening and name change, Joshua Reich, Simple CEO says: "Simple is a better representation of what we aspire to. It releases us from the constraints of an industry in desperate need of innovation."
He stresses that Simple's goal is to replace the traditional banking interface, but that the company itself is not a bank.
"You use our mobile and web apps and speak with our customer relations team when you have questions," he says. "We partner with chartered banks that hold your deposits in FDIC-insured products. They take care of money, we take care of customers, and together we're delivering a new type of financial experience that's easier, faster, and friendlier."
The apparent aim of the rebranding exercise appears to be to distance the company from a profession that has become associated with a culture of fat cat bonuses and shabby customer treatment. As IDC analyst Aaron McPherson tweeted on hearing the news: "Wow. The word 'bank' is now a liability?"