by Joshua Reich

One Year with Our Customers


Four years ago, I sent an email that began like this:

From: Joshua Reich  Date: Friday, July 17 2009 at 9:43 AM  To: Shamir Karkal, Jerry Neumann  Subject: lets start a retail bank

One of the recipients of that email became my Co-Founder, and the other became our first investor. Since then, we’ve passed a lot of promising milestones, but today we’re celebrating the anniversary of the one that’s most important to us: one year since we first launched Simple to customers.

two early bank simple employees standing in a room

My Co-Founder, Shamir, and me in our office in Brooklyn. Summer 2010.

cards sitting on a table

Our first batch of Simple Visa® cards. July 2012.

bank simple team working

James Pozdena, Simple’s Director of Internal Engineering, hitting the button to invite our first customer, Joe. July 2012.

In the past year, we’ve launched features you won’t find in any other banking service, like Reports and Goals, which offer insight into your account like you’ve never had. We’ve innovated by allowing you to block and unblock your card, reset your pin, and deposit a check–all with your phone. And just a few weeks ago, we released two more huge features: Goals for iPhone and External Account Linking.

side by side screenshots of bank simple app evolution

The first cut of our iPhone app, circa 2010, and the same view of Account Activity today.

bank simple employee standing next to a "to-do-list"

Zac Duncan, director of Backend Engineering, crosses an item off our Ship List. March 2012.

We hired our first employees about three years ago, and it’s been exhilarating and humbling to watch our team grow over the years. In fact, we’ve more than doubled in just the past year. The team is now made up of 71 of the most dedicated, intelligent, talented, kind, and quirky individuals I’ve had the fortune of knowing (plus me: we’re 72 strong at Simple’s HQ in Portland, OR).

bank simple team photo 1

bank simple team photo 2

bank simple team photo 3

bank simple team photo today

Simple Today. Just Last Week.

One year is a big milestone for any company–and that goes doubly for us, as a startup working to disrupt a heavily-regulated and historically static industry. In addition to building a service that helps our customers spend smarter and save more, we’ve maintained a team and culture that’s focused on continuous innovation. It’s fair to say we’re future-minded: we spend a lot of time thinking about how banking should look in 2, 5, 10, or 20 years. But today, I want to share a bit of perspective on what we’ve done over the past twelve months:

  • More than 250,000 people have requested an invite to Simple.
  • We’re now processing over $1 billion in transactions per year.
  • Our customers are saving for nearly $100 million worth of Goals.
  • Simple Visa® cards have been swiped more than 2 million times.
  • We have more than 40,000 customers, from every state in the USA.
  • We’ve gone through nearly 500 pounds of coffee at Simple’s HQ.

We started this business with the idea that we could make money by providing an honest service that helped people spend smarter and save more, free from of the pitfalls that are typical for our industry. We believed that, by focusing on a great product and great service, we could build a business that not only does good, but also does well.

bank simple celebrating

The Simple Customer Relations team showing their love for Internal Engineering, who design, build, and maintain the systems CR uses to interact with customers. Internal Engineer Chris Schepman (center) has just announced a feature that will improve CR workflow significantly.

man sitting with 10 computers

Mobile Engineer Collin Ruffenach preparing laptops for a group of high schoolers attending Saturday Academy at Simple HQ.

As I said above, today we’re observing the anniversary of our most vital and exciting milestone. Quite obviously and quite simply, we couldn’t have done any of this without you, our first customers. Your feedback has a lot to do with how we grow and improve our team and product as time goes on. So, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Thank you for asking questions. And most of all, thank you for putting your trust in us and sharing Simple with your friends. We hope we continue to satisfy and delight you with the things we build for you every day. Here’s to many, many more years.

empty office with Herman Miller Aeron chairs

The first day in BankSimple’s new Portland, Oregon office. October 2011.

bank simple team in the office

Simple HQ today, from the same angle.

bank simple team in the office

Simple’s weekly all-hands meeting. Summer 2013.

Disclaimer: Hey! Welcome to our disclaimer. Here’s what you need to know to safely consume this blog post: Any outbound links in this post will take you away from, to external sites in the wilds of the internet; neither Simple or our partner bank, BBVA USA, endorse any linked-to websites; and we didn’t pay/barter with/bribe anyone to appear in this post. And as much as we wish we could control the cost of things, any prices in this article are just estimates. Actual prices are up to retailers, manufacturers, and other people who’ve been granted magical powers over digits and dollar signs.

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