One of the coolest things about building Simple is rethinking even the most basic banking functions–and building them from the ground up. Of course, as we looked to begin replacing our customers’ banks, we knew we’d have to provide a way for customers to send money and make bill payments. Since we’re starting with a decidedly outdated technology–paper checks–and trying to integrate it into modern, real-time banking, we wanted to understand how our customers would actually use paper checks. So, our first iteration of Send Money was an intentionally basic way to pay friends and pay bills. Now that Simple customers and employees have been using the feature for a few months, we’ve been able to collect a lot of great feedback, and make a bunch of improvements that make sending money by check more intuitive and transparent.
“Deliver By” Instead of “Send On”
To start, we made the scheduling of payments a lot clearer. Before, you’d select the date your payment would be sent, which meant doing a bunch of annoying calendar math to figure out when to schedule the payment so that it would be received on time. Now, we do the math for you, taking things like weekends, Federal Reserve holidays, and USPS delivery times into account. If your electricity bill is due in two weeks, you simply choose that day as the delivery date, and Simple takes care of the rest–no guessing required.
Even Better Date Picker and Payment Status
Our custom date picking calendar is one of our favorite improvements. We’re all familiar with how we normally choose dates on a website: you’re given a calendar of the current month and asked to choose the date you want. That means, for example, if today is the 29th of September, you see the whole month of September when it’s pretty much irrelevant. Our calendar starts with the current week, and shows the next few weeks in a continuous flow. You can also type in a date or quickly move around the calendar with arrow keys.
Since we’re now letting you choose the delivery date, we wanted the date picker to provide some more information about the life cycle of the payment. Since the payment will be sent as a USPS mailed check, which normally arrive within 3-5 business days, there’s always a bit of variation. The new calendar highlights all the days between the date the funds will be withdrawn from your account, and the date by which we can guarantee delivery, with emphasis on the days it’s likely to arrive.
In short, the calendar picker is no longer just a nice way to choose dates, it’s also a way to see the context in which your payment will be processed, sent, and delivered. To that end, we’re also spelling out all the important dates in plain English. If you schedule a check to be sent as soon as possible, we’ll explain exactly how the payment will be processed:
This information will be displayed anywhere the payment is displayed–when you’re scheduling it, when it’s in the Scheduled Transactions list, and when you view its details.
Customers had a lot of questions, understandably, about what payees would receive when you send a check. Now, whenever you create a new contact or payment, you can preview what the check will look like, down to the envelope. This is a great way to make sure any information the payee requires will be on the check when they receive it.
By removing guesswork and ambiguity, we’re making successful, on-time payments a lot easier. But we’re also making failures a little more productive. For example, let’s say you schedule a bill payment for a couple weeks out. Over the next week or so, you spend more than you expected and you don’t have enough to cover the payment you scheduled. Previously, we didn’t have a way to alert you that the payment didn’t get sent–the payment would just quietly stay in your scheduled transactions list, dated in the past. That’s obviously not sustainable for a service that sends your rent and utility bills.
Now, unsuccessful payments will get up in your grill until you do something about them. To start, we’ll send you a new message–with the payment attached–letting you know the payment was unsuccessful. That way, you can easily ask our Customer Relations team about what went wrong and how you can get things fixed up. The unsuccessful payment will remain in your scheduled transactions, marked with a red alert icon and recipient name, and a memo letting you know it didn’t get sent. When you select it, you’ll be given the option to reschedule the payment, or delete it if it’s no longer necessary.
As much as we love all these updates to sending money and think they’ll improve your experience, we know there’s still lots more to do. Rest assured, we’re working hard every day to make Simple the best we can possibly make it, and hopefully this was a good glimpse into how we approach taking what we already have and making it even better. As always, keep the feedback coming, and thanks for using Simple!