/ Bank Simple

Bank Simple vs. ING Direct

A few days ago, I received my long awaited Bank Simple invitation and subsequent account + debit card. Only a few months ago, however, I had moved and decided to set up shop with ING Direct. With my new Simple account, I decided to do a quick comparison of the basics. Going too far in depth would require a much lengthier post that probably wouldn’t be very interesting, so I kept it short. I hope you enjoy the post!

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TEST 1: The Debit Card 

ING Direct Debit Card:

Odd thing about the ING Direct Electric Orange Debit Card is that there actually are not any numbers on the front. They actually printed them on the back and tend to scratch off. This was a major fail before Simple even came around. Overall impression was that the orange ball, sparkly silver, and printed numbers on the back made the card just feel plain cheap.

Simple Debit Card:

I obviously edited out my debit card number, exp. Date, and name on this one (hence the smudges). Simple’s Debit Card is a matte white aside from the logos and text and I dig it, although I predict it will attract dirt and actual smudges before too long. A debit card really isn’t a big deal and you hardly use it, but as I kept finding in this experiment, Simple pays attention to details and they rack up.

Verdict: Simple 01 ING Direct 00

TEST 2: Online Banking

Sign In 

  • ING = Their login is pretty simple, except for the fact that I have to remember a nine digit account number instead of just creating a username like every other website on the internet [EDIT: you can create your own username by clicking SAVER ID - I just never did because I guess I’m lazy. Thanks to several readers for correcting me here]. Oh and then I have to enter a six digit PIN number before I can get in.

  • Simple: Beautiful interface, then a username, then a password, and access is granted. Just like it should be.

Verdict: Simple 02 ING Direct 00

Dashboard Upon Login 

  • ING: First impression here is CLUTTER. There is just so much going on. I can learn about P2P payments, grade ING on ‘how they’re doing,’ get tax forms, nickname accounts, click on three FAQ’s displayed, learn about mobile check deposits, explore a vertical navigation bar on the left, or a the dual horizontal navigation bars on the top, and finally, I can click my accounts to see my activity.
  • Simple: First thing I see is that I have $100.00 safe to spend. Then I see my account activity, I then see that I can send somebody money, or I can click on my name which is my account settings. Nice and, well, simple. 
In the interest of keeping this post short, I’m going to summarize the rest of the Online Banking portion. ING has tons of features, all of which are buried and almost never simple, where as Simple shows you what they can do quick and easy, but at the end of the day they lack some key features like check deposits and the ability to delete individual contacts you’ve sent money to. 

Verdict: Simple 03 ING Direct 00

TEST 3: Mobile App

App Icon 

  • ING: It looks like an icon for a game with floating orange balls not an institution I’m trusting to take care of all my money.

  • Simple: one of the more beautiful app icons on my phone. Again, a small thing, but details keep racking up in Simple’s favor.

Verdict: Simple 04 ING Direct 00


  • ING: 6 digit PIN, which is different from ever other PIN I’ve ever had which causes me to forget it all the time. I also have to have a separate PIN to login to the mobile banking than I have for my ATM.
  • Simple: 4 digit PIN that’s the same for everything. 


  • ING: They just call this ‘Accounts’ and shows a ‘History’ with balances and displays your account #’s here.
  • Simple: Shows your balance of ‘Safe to Spend’ always, while also showing your history of activity categorized by spending aka Mint.com.
Verdict: Simple 05 ING Direct 00

Payments / Transfer 

  • ING: You can only transfer money between accounts and people you have created / added online. Repeat, you cannot transfer money on mobile with ING unless you have established a financial relationship with them on ING’s desktop based online banking
  • Simple: You CAN create new contacts by simply adding a person’s name, email, phone number, & address. After that, you can request Simple send said person a check for any given amount provided you have the funds available to do so. Freakin’ genius.
Verdict: Simple 06 ING Direct 00

Check Deposit 

  • ING: With ING’s ‘CheckMate (clever)’ you can take two pictures – one of the front and one of the back – of a check and submit it to ING. As long as the amount is under $3,001, it should clear within a week.
  • Simple: As of today, Simple does not offer mobile check deposits, but claims it will be able to do so in the near future.
Verdict: Simple 06 ING Direct 01

ATM Finder 

  • ING = The ATM Finder has a longer load time than I feel is necessary and doesn’t integrate an automatic request for the user’s location. Once I did tell the app to use my location, it displayed a list rather than a map.
  • Simple = Simple’s ATM Finder is a bit easier to find, although both are a bit buried. That said, their finder automatically requested to use my location and showed me an ATM within five minutes of my house on a map.
Verdict: Simple 07 ING Direct 01

To conclude, Simple loses only where they have yet to implement features. They have done as I hoped in that they have simplified many of the features that ING offers into a much easier and more enjoyable experience.