Take Twitter, add its concepts as a platform to banking and you get BankSimple, the unlaunched startup that you will definitely want to keep your eye on. BankSimple is a new take on online banking created by Twitter's former API guy, Alex Payne. BankSimple is aiming to create a banking platform, much as Twitter became a messaging platform.
Banking as a service?
Like Twitter, BankSimple is likely to gain much of its success and user base through its API. That's right. A bank with an open API. And a pretty rich one at that. According to BankSimple's API page, developers can expect to be able to do just about everything, including getting transaction info and even initiating funds transfers.
As of now, banking information is very closed. Most likely for security reasons and the amount of work that would go into opening up all of that data, securely, to developers. Unlike your traditional bank, BankSimple will operate as a developer platform from day one, allowing all kinds of new and exciting products.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about opening up banking information to developers, is security. There's no doubt that BankSimple's API team is just as concerned about security as you are. We can expect oAuth and xAuth authentication and expiring keys to keep everyone on the up and up and some very strict API guidelines to go with it.
Certainly, mashups will be a huge part of BankSimple's plans, too. For example a heat map of my spending habits would be pretty cool. This is where banking as a service really gets interesting.
The BankSimple API is to be rolled out at the same time as the BankSimple web app launch, which still doesn't have a solid launch date. Your best bet is to join the Google group and keep an eye out for any documentation.
With a reported 20,000 users lined up for invites and booming developer list, it's clear that we can expect to see some amazing things built on the BankSimple platform.