Home / Uncategorized / Mint Takes on Microsoft Money and Intuit’s Quicken

Mint Takes on Microsoft Money and Intuit’s Quicken

Plus it’s free, and Web-based.

Mint allows users to automatically track and analyze their financial transactions, set budgets, and even send balance updates in text messages to cell phones.

From the Forbes interview with its 26-year old founder, Aaron Patzer:

“The average user, when they log in, can find $1,000 worth of savings within five minutes.”

They plan to make money from referral fees.

The brand promise of Mint is that the ads or offers you see are individually calculated to save or make you money. On Mint, ads are features. On our "Ways to Save" page, where we offer these savings features, we’ve found that the click-through rate [the number of times a link is clicked for every time it appears] is between 8% and 10%. That’s much higher than the industry standard for online ads.

One thing that’s unique about our model is that we’re not trying to make users spend more time on the site. In fact, because of the text message and e-mail features, users don’t have to log in for more than five or 10 minutes a week.

Patzer is on to the fact that most users of personal financial software don’t want to use up a lot of their all too limited free time filling in information — Mint uses Yodlee for that. I have tried Quicken once, and Money a couple of times, but they assume I am far more dedicated  — and rational — about my financial planning than is the case. Like so much software, the design doesn’t take much notice of the way users live and work. Patzer says his realization came when a new job made updating his information impossible because it required so much time.

Automatic deduction savings plans are one way around this — Bank of America’s Keep the Change, which rounds debit card purchases up a dollar and then deposits the change in a savings account, is the best example I have seen of a program that has a sense of how people save in real life. They could make it even better by letter you set the amount to sweep to savings to change plus $1 or $5 — so heavy spenders would save even more. They probably need to.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here…

Check Also

Financial services of the future will be open sourced and real-time

I recently  presented in Miami and BBVA were kind enough to summarise what I said …