Below is the second installment of our multi-part series on the innovations from Simple. The onboarding process is covered in the first two segments.
Part 1: Innovations #1 and #2: Demo mode after login
#3 Novel card mailer & copy
If you’ve been following the Bank Simple story, you’ve probably already seen it’s unique card mailer. It’s a simple package consisting of a cardboard CD-mailer (screenshot #1) with the Simple name on the outside.
Inside, is a clever matching cardboard piece with the card rubber-banded to a detachable bottom piece designed to be used as a very basic wallet (note 1). The cardboard says “cash” on one side and “card” on the other.
Copy is friendly and very unbank-like (see screenshot #2):
IT’S A GOOD DAY
Your new Simple Visa card is
here. Excited? We’re a bit giddy.
Activate your card and try it out.
Please let us know what you think.
It’s the best card mailer copy I’ve ever seen, but it does strike me as just a bit overly self-congratulatory. I think I’d have put a big THANK YOU at the top instead of the IT’S A GOOD DAY. But that’s a small point. Also, I love that they ask for feedback, but it would be nice to publish their email or Twitter handle to make that easier.
The back of the mailer (screenshot 3) is all business with the toll-free number, a simple URL to see the detailed terms <www.simple.com/terms>, and the name of the card issuer (Bancorp Bank).
Bottom line: Even though the Simple package appears austere, it most certainly cost much more than the generic #10 package customers are used to getting from banks and card issuers (first-class postage was $1.95 alone). But if you want users to really believe that you are different from the megabanks, you can’t just drop a plain-vanilla card mailer into their hands.
#4 Humanizing the card activation/PIN selection process
Users must dial a toll-free number to activate the card and create a PIN. While the lack of online or mobile options was a letdown, the bank did a good job with the call. As expected, the activation number was answered by a recording. But the recording from a real customer service rep, Rachel, who apparently has been actively engaging customers for more than a year.
There were no surprises in the activation process, users calling from a previously known phone number simply key in their card number and last-four digits of their social security number to activate. Then select a PIN by entering four digits twice.
The bank didn’t do any upselling, but did offer the option of connecting with a service rep for questions. I took the bank up on the offer, and briefly chatted with a service rep about the spending limits on the card. She was personable and answered the questions with no hesitation. And I liked how they answered the customer service number:
“You’ve reached customer relations at Simple. Let’s see if someone’ is available to take your call.”
Bottom line: While Simple’s card activation processed followed industry standards, you still could sense they’d put some thought into it. The little touch of being greeted by a recording from a person using her real name, helps build rapport during the opening days of the relationship.
#1: Simple debit card mailer — envelope front (13 Aug 2012)
Note: DVD shown for scale only, not part of package.
#2: Card mailer front
#3: Card mailer back
1. The “rubber-band wallet” may be lost on some. My wife didn’t get that one at all. But she still thought it was a cool way to hold the card to the mailer without using adhesive which must be scraped off.