Considering the amount of time your wallet and your iPhone spend sitting right next to each other, is it any wonder that banks and payment services are making iOS job #1 for their mobile strategies?
Big banks like Citi and Chase have capable iPhone apps for handling your money on the go, with features like photo check deposit and quick payments. There are also pure mobile payment plays like Dwolla, Venmo and PayPal with sophisticated iPhone apps to handle sending money to friends and businesses. (PayPal recently acquired Card.io which makes an API for app developers to capture credit cards via the iPhone camera, rather than with a dongle or hardware sled.)
The latest entry in the race to replace your traditional banking experience with something new and better comes from Simple, which puts a sophisticated web front end and sleek app atop a traditional debit card. Simple has just come out of beta for public account invitations, after several months of private testing. Founding CTO Alex Payne (formerly of Twitter) has also announced that he's stepping away from Simple to focus on other technology interests.
Simple aims to provide a (wait for it...) simpler take on managing your money, whether it's from your computer or on the go. It's not a bank, exactly; it's a customer service firm that works with wholesale banks to provide a checking account and matching Visa debit card. You use the card just like any debit card, and you can get cash (fee-free) from any ATM in the Allpoint network. Unlike Mint, it doesn't aggregate your fiscal data from lots of accounts; it shows you just the one account, but with greater detail and responsiveness.