Can An App Actually Make Banking “Simple”?

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Can this actually live up to its name? I investigated.

Is there anything more annoying about the bank than waiting in line? OK, maybe there are a few things—like overdraft fees—but it’s not the most pleasant experience. You fill out the deposit papers, you wait for the “next in line, please,” and you slowly get through your errands. I don’t know about you, but the whole process takes a toll on my day.

But now, in this age of technology, mobile banks are sprouting to life and the notion of joining a big bank for accessibility purposes is slowly dying. You can control your finances on your phone and not pay a fee for using random ATMs. You don’t believe me? Yeah, I wasn’t too convinced either until my friend talked to me about

I figured I’d give Simple a shot to see whether it fit my banking needs. Here’s my review.


First, Let’s Meet Simple

Simple is a new way of banking all through your phone. You get a Visa card, which can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, and there is no fee when using one of their FDIC-approved ATMs. But what I found more interesting is that Simple gives you the function of saving your money for specific things. You can budget yourself through the app; something very useful for a post-grad like me who needs to save some money.

Based on my experience, that’s not the only way Simple seems to know what we need. They offer a map with the locations of ATMs you can use, and while there are still some fees (they need to survive somehow), these are very low in comparison to other banks I’ve used. You can also send messages to their staff through the app if you run into any trouble, which seems safer and quicker than email to me.

This small, start-up bank is really trying to put the people first. So for that, I thank you, Simple.

Other Banks Apps: You’re Not So Great

My current bank, Bank of America, has a mobile app where you can check your statement and transfer money if need be. It also lets me take pictures of my checks and deposit them right away—which is pretty dope! And although having a mobile app makes it easier to keep track of my spending, I’ve found that their app is never truly up to date with how much money I have. Simple is not like that.

With some apps, “current balance” is not so currently updated. Simple showed me my “safe to spend” amount, reflecting the money I truly can spend—so its users always know what is processing and no longer theirs. What I also liked about Simple is that it has a mobile lock code; that way, you don’t have to worry about losing your phone and someone getting in on your finances.

Being One With Your Finances

Being more in touch with your spending is a great way to become more money savvy. You get to see your spending habits on the spot. If I got a notification whenever I bought some Sour Patch Kids that I wasn’t supposed to, I’d probably stop eating so much delicious candy and save that money. Independent banking is not only liberating, it’s also very educational.

So before you decide to store all your money in shoeboxes under the bed to evade interest rates and fees, try looking for an alternative like Simple. Mobile banking is here, and it looks like it’s here to stay. More and more companies like Simple are going to come to life. Let’s take advantage of them and be more in control of our finances.

Do you find mobile banking apps to be helpful? Share your thoughts below.

This blog represents the thoughts of the contributor only and SALT™ does not endorse any products described here.

(Photo: Fai H.)

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