Mint.com For Banks – It’s About Time!

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8 April 2013
Jacob Jegher
There is a reason that user adoption of PFM is so low. Well several reasons in fact, and you can read about it in this report. Thankfully, steps are being taken to more tightly couple PFM and online banking – one of the MANY key elements required to improve adoption. Intuit announced last week that the time has come for them to integrate aspects of their popular Mint.com consumer offering with Intuit online banking. I think it’s a great move, and it’s high time that Intuit moved forward with a more cohesive approach to online banking that includes PFM. The big question on my mind - is this move too little too late? Celent has been promoting the concept of an integrated online banking/PFM for several years now. There are a number of banks that have already gone down the more tightly coupled online banking/PFM path, some in more depth/detail than others. Why has Intuit waited so long to make this move? It’s also important to note that this is just an announcement. According to an American Banker article, “pilot tests with banks are starting later this spring, with general availability expected to hit by early next year.” Early next year? I think it’s great that Intuit went ahead and made an announcement - I’m all in favor of stirring up excitement for refreshed online banking. However, assuming Intuit sticks to its timeline, this announcement is still roughly a year in advance of us seeing a generally available solution. A lot can happen in a year, particularly with the constant flow of non-bank startups, innovation and updates to competing online banking solutions, and moves by other financial institutions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about the next generation of Intuit online banking, but things have to move faster if they want to remain a relevant player. A few key questions need to be answered:
  • Will Intuit’s existing online banking customers move to this new version? The overwhelming majority likely will if this becomes a standard component of online banking (Intuit’s online banking is run in an ASP model). Those that won’t want to move, and that number could be substantial, are ripe for being poached by other digital banking solution providers. This could also be examined from a different angle. Perhaps Intuit’s bank customers have been pushing for these types of changes. If so, then this could be a great way for Intuit to retain existing customers and go after new ones. Too bad it’s approximately a year away, as that still makes Intuit’s customers ripe to be poached by other providers.
  • How will Intuit’s online and mobile banking customers feel about the changes to the solution? The pilots will provide more information. Intuit has been making iterative changes to its online banking solution, and the frequent changes could prove challenging and frustrating to banks and their customers.
  • Will Intuit be successful at selling this revamped offering to larger financial institutions? That’s difficult to say at this stage. Some of the larger banks are pretty deep into the PFM space already, and they are working with other providers. There are still quite a number of mid-tier and large banks that haven’t touched this space that could be great prospects. Intuit will however need to differentiate itself in a very crowded market.
Intuit’s updated online banking solution brings many welcome changes. The folks at Netbanker have put together a nice list of the positive changes including, an attractive and refreshed UI, and the ability to import data from an existing mint.com account. The solution holds a lot of promise, and I’m hoping that Intuit can move a little faster in order to provide financial institutions with the digital banking solutions that they desire.

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