Simple: A free alternative to big banks

Looks nicer than the Chase website. via Facebook

Looks nicer than the Chase website. via Facebook

Banks. They’re just THE WORST. If they aren’t asking the government for enormous sums of money because they blew up the economy, they’re screwing you with fees, or hounding you about debt. You can always tell them to go screw, and join a credit union, but the Times found someone doing something a little more DIY: he started his own damn internet-based checking service, based out of (of course) Portland.

A 34-year-old Aussie software engineer, fed up with Chase bank, put his money where his mouth is and developed Simple. At first glance, Simple seems too, well, simple; but it’s got a huge layer of complexity behind it — mainly your financial data. Simple maintains the 80 or so lines of information per financial transaction that regular banks typically throw away, allowing you to easily track and analyse what you’re spending money on. Because you’re reading about it on Brokelyn, you know it’s free.

The downsides: no physical locations, no cash deposits, no checkbooks, no ATMs, and they suspiciously dodge the question of interest rates. All money is FDIC insured, though, since all deposits are kept in partner banks. And right now it’s invitation-only. The upside? Natural language searches for transactions, tons of awesome data analysis (if you’re into that thing) and no fees.

Any brokesters out there a member? If so, what’s your experience with Simple been like?