REAL TIME: It is "faster to go MSB route," Simple CEO Josh Reich tweeted during a live discussion with tech investors about whether it would make more sense for the nonbank to buy a money services business or a bank charter.

#What'sOurNextMove? Simple Execs Plot Strategy on Twitter

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If you want to build a next-generation consumer banking app, and then use it to attract retail deposits, you don't actually need to be a bank.

Simple in Portland, Ore., has proven that over the last couple of years. By partnering with Bancorp Bank, the technology startup has been able to forego acquiring its own charter, while still providing deposit insurance to its customers.

But Simple has bigger ambitions — Chief Financial Officer Shamir Karkal has expressed potential interest in mortgage lending, for example. And eventually those plans may require the company to obtain either a bank charter or state-by-state licenses to make loans and run money services businesses, also known as MSBs.

On Monday, Karkal and Chief Executive Officer Josh Reich took to Twitter to hash out, in an extraordinarily public conversation with tech investors, the pros and cons of Simple's various options.

The discussion started when Reich jumped into a conversation that Silicon Valley legend Marc Andreessen (who co-founded Netscape and the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz) and other tech investors were having about banking in a post-branch world.

Karkal replied:

He added:

Reich then shot back:

At that point, Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon took note of the conversation's unusual forum.

Reich got the last word:

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Comments (2)
You've got to applaud the Simple guys for their transparency!
Posted by rgoffice | Tuesday, February 11 2014 at 1:36PM ET
This article takes on a whole different meaning now that BBVA has announced they will purchase Simple.
Posted by dmgerbino | Friday, February 21 2014 at 2:40PM ET
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