More Details About the Intuit-Mint Deal: Quicken Online to Get Mint-ized

By  |  Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 9:50 am

MintuitI just spoke with Aaron Patzer, founder of Mint and general-manager-to-be of Intuit’s personal finance group, about Intuit’s planned $170 million acquisition of Mint and what it means for consumers. A few notes from our discussion on what’s in the works, assuming the merger goes off as planned:

Quicken Online will become a reskinned Mint. It doesn’t make sense for one company to have two Web-based personal-finance services that, while far from identical, are trying to do similar things. The battle between Quicken Online and Mint will end, and it’s Mint that will be the victor: The Quicken Online service will be pretty much the same service as today’s Mint except with Quicken’s red-and-white color scheme, Patzer told me. Current Quicken Online users should see their transactions move into the Mint-powered version, and Patzer hopes that other items such as categories will also be able to make the transition. Why not just kill Quicken Online? Patzer says the Quicken brand name is so familiar that it makes sense for Mint to adapt its identity as well as to keep its own moniker.

Mint features will migrate into Quicken’s desktop software. One core aspect of Mint from the start (and a major part of its business model) has been the way it analyzes your financial life and attempts to recommend offers that make sense for you, such as credit cards and mortgage refinancing deals with lower interest rates. Patzer says the plan is to bring some of this stuff into Quicken’s traditional software version, too.

Quicken desktop isn’t going anywhere. At the moment, it has more advanced features than either Mint or Quicken Online in some areas, such as investments and tax handling. Patzer says Quicken users tend to be older than Mint’s customers (in their 40s and 50s vs. 20s and 30s) and like the security of keeping their financial details local rather than stored on distant servers. So even as Mint and Quicken Online get more sophisticated, there will be a need for Quicken in software form.

Mint will take advantage of Intuit’s back-end. Intuit has a deep portfolio of technologies and partnerships in the areas of online billpay, banking, and the like. Patzer says this should let Mint become a more transactional service–instead of just seeing that a bill is due for payment, you might be able to pay it right inside of Mint.

Mint and TurboTax will meld. You’ll be able to push all the things Mint knows about your financial status, such as gains and losses, into TurboTax Patzer thinks this could dramatically reduce the drudgery of tax time.

Patzer says he knows that some Mint fans are apprehensive about the acquisition, but that they needn’t worry–especially since the Mint management and engineering team will “take a leadership role” in the combined companies.

In other news, he told me that Mint has submitted a new version of its iPhone application to Apple’s App Store. Among the changes: a PIN for added security, push notifications for stuff like bills that are due, and a slicker look.

 
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3 Comments For This Post

  1. Richard Mackey Says:

    When Intuit bought out MYOB it was assumed the snatched-up product simply had a new overlord, and would eventually transition into a Quickbooks-looking thing over time. As it turned out it was purchased solely for it’s customer base and promptly destroyed.
    On the very next upgrade cycle MYOB customers were informed that they had to buy the latest Quickbooks, and their import tool would safely and easily migrate all their data.
    After a full day of beating on it we finally gave up. No matter what you did, there were large swaths of data missing and the program couldn’t see any problem with it.
    To this day that company still uses MYOB thanks to a 3rd party service called Targetupdate and they are happy to this day.

  2. Tubby Bartles Says:

    I hope it’s true that Mint continues to innovate. Intuit bought Paytrust, another one of my favorite companies, and they promptly stopped all development. It even still puts out data in QIF format (which hasn’t been supported by Quicken in years!), meaning Intuit won’t even invest enough to make their own service work with their own product.

    I switched to Mint as a result, since there was no longer a link between Paytrust and Quicken, but now Intuit bought Mint too. I hope they don’t do the same thing to this company.

  3. Bobby Travis Says:

    Hmm. My biggest concern actually comes as a (Canadian) Quicken Online user. I went to Quicken Online over Mint.com for the simple fact that Quicken (unofficially) supports Canadian banks. If the just port everything over to Mint, then that tiny but oh-so-important piece of technology may not be there anymore. I am not the only Canadian on the service. It seems we must prepare to once again be shafted by licensing and related issues — e.g. Skype In, Hulu, Pandora, Last.FM mobile, imeem… even some YouTube content (was unable to watch the Ghostbusters release on YouTube or the recent Kanye West idiocy-apology on the new Leno show).

    *sigh*

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