Simple, the on-line banking arm of BBVA, has launched a checking product aimed at younger consumers that allows roommates, unmarried partners and others share an account. It doesn’t appear to be a truly new product. It is positioned as not the same as a traditional joint account, but it certainly sounds like one. What is different is some really useful budgeting, messaging and alert capabilities that ties two accounts together, along with some good marketing. From TechCrunch:
Online banking service Simple today is launching a new type of banking product aimed at a younger generation of customers who want to be able to collaborate on finances with others, but aren’t in the market for traditional joint checking accounts, like those typically used by married spouses. The company’s new Shared bank accounts let customers control their own accounts from a single app, but also easily switch over to a shared account to do things like track combined expenses and transactions, set budgeting goals with others, track the shared account’s “safe to spend” balance, and more.
In an interesting perspective, this account is being positioned as an improved, more sophisticated Venmo:
While Venmo is handy for splitting everyday expenses – like the check at lunch, or paying a friend back for a Lyft ride – Simple’s Shared accounts are meant for those who need to actually combine their finances in some way. Users can move money from their Shared account to their Simple personal account, and vice versa. They can also use the Shared account’s Goals feature to save money for known upcoming expenses, whether that’s regular expenses like the month’s bills or those you want to save up for, like vacations.
In the Simple mobile app, customers can switch between their own account to the Shared account with just a tap on an account switcher, without having to re-authenticate with their username and password.
Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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