I don’t like carrying my wallet around. I hate to thing about what sitting with my wallet in my back pocket does to my spine. There are always so many cards and they always want to flop out of my wallet and I can never find the card I’m looking for and on and on it goes.
We are in a technological age where this problem should be easy-peasy to fix, but for the last number of years tech giants and startups alike have fumbled repeatedly in endeavors to launch a technology to replace the traditional wallet with its multitudinous cards…well, it looks like Coin has finally invented the way we will do wallets in the future.
I’m excited about this not only b/c of what it means for the wallet, but also b/c I’m sure I can get a sheath for my phone that will allow me to carry my coin card and drivers license with the phone – getting rid of the annoying wallet altogether.
So how did Coin make something that the tech giants have been failing to do for years? They aren’t trying to move everyone to a new standard (e.g. NFC) but instead are using an the old technology in a new way.
Basically, the Coin card comes with a scanner which can read the information off of credit cards and other striped cards. It stores this information in the Coin card and you can then choose through a display on the card itself which card you want to use at any given moment. The stores you visit don’t need any new technology – as far as they are concerned, the Coin card is just another credit card.
But wait folks, that’s not all. The Coin card also uses Bluetooth to make sure you don’t accidentally leave your card somewhere. If you walk out of a restaurant and forget your Coin card, your phone will alert you that the Coin card is no longer in the vicinity – before you drive all the way home and realize your card is missing.
The Coin isn’t available just yet but it can be pre-ordered at half price ($50 I think) and has a planned release date of Summer 2014.
I had a bank account as a kid/teenager but I rarely used it. I guess I just kept the insignificant amount of cash I had to my name on my person. I don’t even remember the name of the bank – the only one in town – where I had an account.
When I moved from New York to Pennsylvania to begin my undergraduate studies at Cairn University I opened a bank at Commonwealth – which a few years later was acquired by Citizens – which quickly shut down the branch I used (and could conveniently walk to).
I’ve been with Citizens ever since. I don’t remember when “ever since” is exactly – maybe 2003? 2005? It has been quite a while.
They have been a pretty decent bank for me. Nothing special – but they had a free checking account with no required minimum and at one point even paid me interest (Green$ense) on my checking account. I did get annoyed when the order in which some of my deposits/charges came in caused my account to overdraft and the mess of fees that created and the ATM fees which I can never figure out where they are coming from are extremely annoying. It would be nice if the ATM fees where somehow associated with a specific purchase. Where is it that either I’m forgetting to use credit or where the cashier is not processing the card as credit?…Well, I never have figured that out.
All that to say, my experience with banks hasn’t been horribly unpleasant – but neither has it been awesomely fantastic. So how does Simple, a bank claiming to reinvent our banking experience compare? Good question.
Here are my thoughts as a customer for around a year now:
Good – Safe to Spend is pretty cool. It gives me a general idea of how much money I have in my account that isn’t going to bills in the next few days.
Good – The iPhone and Android apps are nice – and being able to deposit checks via the phone is great.
Good – I haven’t had occasion to use their customer support but I hear you get a real person and they also have web-based chat support.
Good – You get paid interest on your balance – granted, thus far I’ve been given a massive $0.01 per month…but I understand I don’t have the biggest bank account in the world.
Bad – The low limits on checks deposited via phone to Simple. I get paid monthly for my main job and in occasional lump sums for my IT consulting – so I occasionally bump up against an issue depositing funds into Simple…and end up using my Citizens account and then transferring the funds over…annoying.
Bad – The lack of real checks. This is another reason I have to keep my Citizens about open. If I need to write a physical check on the spot – I can’t with Simple. Sure, I can setup scheduled payments – but what about the doctor I didn’t know I was going to need to visit? Or the friend I want to give a check before we part ways? It is just inconvenient. Don’t make paper checks a big deal, but we do need some way to transfer funds the old-fashioned way till everyone else catches up to our digital fantastic-ness.
Bad – Probably my biggest complaint thus far is how long it takes to transfer funds from my Simple account into my Citizens Bank – a whopping eight days! Wait…Say that again? Yeah, eight days. Citizens moves funds around faster than that! I thought Simple was the digital master?
I really like Bank. It seems like they are heading in the right direction…but they need to fix the above three items and they need to differentiate themselves in some more significant ways if they are going to be the banking company for a digital generation. Citizens and other banks are offering many of the same features Simple has – many already offer deposit by phone and so on.
If you think Simple might be a good fit for you, you can sign up via this referral link (bummer, I don’t get paid anything for referring. 🙁 They should fix that too…Even a little $5 or $10 would be nice!).
Received an invitation to post this nifty infographic on Dave Enjoys. It is from Intuit and covers some basic financial statistics as well as tips for maintaining one’s financial fitness or getting into financial shape…Hope you find it as interesting as I did.
[If you have an infographic you think would be of interest to Dave Enjoys readers, feel free to send it over to me…I’m not going to publish just any infographic, but if you’ve got something good, I’m happy to share it.]