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This is very intelligently done. I'm glad they are releasing the cards to just a small set of people first to check that everything works. People are very wary of any issues with their money/with their bank and absolutely any problem at the beginning would seriously hurt user adoption. Start slow and make sure it works.

How is this "intelligent" and not obvious, common sense before you roll out a bank?

But I thought BankSimple wasn't a bank, despite the confusing name.

"BankSimple: Personal banking from a company that respects you."

That's not a bank?

From the FAQ:

So, what’s the deal... are you really a bank?

We are not a bank. We work with partner banks (soon to be announced) to provide FDIC insured products. What this means for you is that your money is safely insured with our partners. Our wholesale partners provide the financial products, we provide the customer service and experience.

They're "simple" but they like to play semantics. I mean, really, they have "bank" in the name and they provide banking services. To me, the consumer, they are a bank.

I'd say the problem is how different parties conceive of the word "bank". When you're a consumer, the word "bank" means the entity that you interact with to do your banking. At the same time, the legal definition of "bank" is something entirely different, requiring compliance with many more laws than what BankSimple is doing. So, as far as I can see from the point of view of a customer of BankSimple, they will be "my bank" because you interact with them and not with the banks that are actually responsible for the safekeeping of your money while it's in your account.

Common sense is surprisingly uncommon. You've heard about Friendster falling apart because of scaling issues? Or Kozmo.com expanding to too many cities in too little time... Many companies forget to start small and test

Scaling is not trivial in many cases. Friendster happened before a lot of infrastructure we take for granted now was released into the world.

There's a big difference between that and congratulating people for something bleedingly obvious. Do you really expect them to start manufacturing these cards and rolling out their entire system which deals with people's money without testing the [bleep] out of it?

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