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September 29, 2016
by Josh Reich

Announcing Simple Shared

Simple Shared: for partners in spending, saving, and doing.
Simple shared account debit cards, held up by hands on a peach background

We hear again and again that conflict over money is the number one contributor to stress in a relationship or partnership. It’s also consistently ranked somewhere between first and third each year as the leading cause for divorce. Painful as financial problems may be, if asked to make a proactive choice, most of us would rather lose money than each other.

At Simple, our mission is to help people feel confident with their money. So we asked ourselves, could we create a way to share and manage money that would actually help improve relationships?

Today I’m excited to announce Simple Shared, an account designed with the complex intricacies of both banking and human relationships in mind.

How Shared is different

Simple's new Shared account cards on a blue background

I founded Simple with a vision for a banking business that would only do well if it also did discernible good for its customers by solving complex money problems in human ways.

With Shared, we wanted to create an account that brought transparency to how we spend and save in partnerships of any form.

With these guiding principles in mind, we’ve designed a product that solves a few fundamental problems with today’s joint account offerings:

  • Managing money is about people: We recognize that the desire to share your money with someone else isn’t likely grounded in a contractual obligation, but in wanting to share a piece of your life and yourself with someone else. We’re grateful to be a part of that big step. If you were to look up ‘joint account’, the copy you’d find on most bank websites would advise you on how to open up a joint account as a romantic couple or parent-child relationship. We thought and heard our customers also wonder, what about the rest of us? There’s no one-size-fits-all for relationships so there shouldn’t be one in banking. Shared accounts is designed for all partners, in spending, saving, doing, and living, together.

  • Two cards, one account: With Simple Shared, you’re two players on one team: You’re still your own people, with your own accounts, but with shared saving, spending, and features like Safe-to-Spend and Goals, your financial life becomes a collaboration. With this in mind, we designed Shared to ensure that having both a Shared and individual account wouldn’t take extra time, so you can easily go back and forth without duplicating work. With one account to share and two to use solo, you’ll have the flexibility to find a healthy balance of independence, cooperation, and transparency. Whatever that means for you and your partner, no matter what type of partnership you have. We’ve also extended the same design from individual accounts over to Shared, so you can easily see who spent what, where, and when, even with payments, check deposits, and transfers. We believe your money is yours and that you should be able to easily answer questions about how it was used, and by whom.

  • Designing for two: Representing partnership visually was important for us too. We sought to design a Shared Simple Visa® Debit Card that was a clean, elegant, and minimal, representative of our original card, but different enough to ensure that you could easily tell the two apart at a glance. We landed on Shared’s ‘slash’ design to serve as a visual metaphor for partnership, two people as parts of a whole.

  • Easy sign-up: Taking the plunge to share your financial life with someone should be a moment of celebration, not a burden. Our Shared account sign-up can be completed entirely online and takes just minutes. No you don’t need to go into a branch (we don’t even have them) and yes we support all non-business partnerships: roommates, siblings, roadtrippers, romantic couples, and more.

Why beta?

We’re a tech company, not a bank, so we’re taking a tech-forward approach to rolling out this product. This means that we’ll be “beta testing” Shared accounts until we’re ready to formally launch the product.

The beta of Shared comes to you after months of “alpha” testing. Our beta will include all of the security and stability you’ve come to expect from Simple, but we ask that you remember, this is a beta, not the finished version, so we’ll be looking for your feedback on what works well for you and where we can improve.

How to sign-up

Starting today, you can sign-up for our beta of Shared accounts by putting your name on the waitlist. Our team will reach out when it’s your turn.

Simple Shared accounts will only be available to customers whose accounts are backed by our new partner bank, BBVA Compass. If you already have a Simple account, you can check the back of your card (or your account info in the app) to confirm which partner—BBVA Compass or The Bancorp Bank—supports your account.

If your account is with The Bancorp Bank and you want a Simple Shared account, you can add your email addresses to the waitlist and we’ll prioritize your move to BBVA Compass so that you are set up there when it’s time to start testing.

Join The Waitlist

What’s next

Our Simple Shared accounts beta marks a new first for Simple: the introduction of a product that extends beyond our standard account.

This also marks the beginning of what’s to come. We’ve spent years researching the intricacies of banking, account sharing, and most importantly, relationships and what people want from a Shared account.

We’re excited to get this out into the hands of more people and to continue rolling out new features that expand on our goal of building banking that can help people improve their relationships.

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 Simple.com, to external sites in the wilds of the internet; neither Simple nor our partner banks, The Bancorp Bank and BBVA Compass, 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.