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Mint.com, a service that describes itself as the “best (free) way to manage your money”, announced today by press release, blog and direct email to its userbase, that it is to be acquired by Intuit for $170 million by the end of this year. Mint has garnered over 1.5 million users, over the past two years and is commonly known to be easy to use, intuitive, and an all around great way to get a clear snapshot of your finances; including tips on how to reduce your debt, budget better, and reach your financial goals. They have been, in some ways, in direct competition with the Intuit Quicken applications, especially as Intuit has recently been pushing itself more and more into the online space (perhaps inspired by Mint’s success?). Intuit even created its own free online offering, Quicken Online, which is also quite easy to use, though it lacks some of Mint’s more advanced features.
The big question here is what will become of the two applications?
In the releases by Mint, they have said that their application will continue to be free, and that Intuit has much the same vision as they do, so Mint should continue to grow in the same direction – only faster, as Quicken is very nearly a household name (apparently, 85% of Americans have heard of Quicken). Quicken online has also been able to do a few things that Mint has not, such as offer (unofficial) support for Canadian banks. This merger could allow Mint to very quickly expand its userbase even beyond US borders, which would be of particular interest to a lot of Canadians, many of whom only went to Quicken Online because Mint was not properly available to them.
It has been reported that Intuit plans to keep both Quicken Online and Mint.com as two separate product offerings, with Mint becoming the “primary online personal finance management service that is offered directly to consumers by Intuit”. They also state that “Quicken Online will connect Quicken customers across desktop, online and mobile to deliver easy, anytime-anywhere access”. This could mean changes in functionality for the current Quicken Online userbase, but it is too early to do more than speculate.
Here’s what Aaron Patzer, Founder and CEO of Mint.com had to say to his users:
What’s not going to change
Mint.com will stay the way you like it: free, easy-to-use and constantly improving.
What will change
As outlined in today’s press release and my blog post, after the acquisition closes, the Mint.com team will contribute to improving the financial lives of tens of millions of consumers and small businesses. I’ll personally be taking on the role of GM of Intuit’s Personal Finance group responsible for online, desktop and mobile consumer personal finance offerings. Joining Intuit enables us to bring our vision of helping consumers understand and do more with their money to millions of Intuit customers. This is a compelling combination of our innovative product, technology, and industry leading user interface design with one of the most trusted brands in software.
I look forward to executing on that vision — for you.
Do you use Mint.com or Quicken Online? How do you see this shaping up for you as a user or potential user?