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Simple opens doors as CTO Payne moves on

26 July 2012  |  7766 views  |  0 Hands on keyboard

US banking start-up Simple has finally begun bringing on board the 125,000 people on its waiting list and waved off CTO Alex Payne.

In a blog post, founder Josh Reich says that, three years after he first pitched the idea of starting up a new bank, thousands of customers are being sent their Simple cards.

The process has been a longer slog than initially anticipated - back in March 2010 Reich set his sights on a launch by the end of that year, explicitly rejecting a long build up, arguing "it is near impossible to innovate with an imposed three year launch delay".

However, reality soon dawned as the size of the task at hand became apparent. The first cards were not issued to staff members until early 2011 with a few members of the public brought on board by the end of the year and now the waiting list that has built up is being tackled.

Says Reich: "As someone who has waited three years for this moment, the response from our customers has been humbling. The rate at which folks from our invitation list are becoming customers has exceeded all of our expectations. Simple has grown from an idea to a robust banking service, and we are just getting started."

Simple is not a bank, it works with chartered banks that hold deposits in FDIC-insured products, leaving it to concentrate on the front end, proving customers with easy-to-use, cutting edge Web and mobile services.

A key architect in the building of these services has been Alex Payne, the Twitter veteran who Reich brought on board early as CTO and said he wanted to help create "a bank that doesn't suck".

In a blog post, Payne says he has now quit: "While I'm extremely proud of the work everyone at Simple has done on the road to launch, I've come to recognize that the role of CTO isn't right for me at this point in my career."

For Reich though "we are only beginning: We seek to change an industry. The public's trust in banks is at an all-time low. People deserve better. At Simple, it is our dedication to our craft that has made the product what it is today, and ensures its future potential."

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