The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

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  1. This is a great example of where you and I disagree. “Tracking” money is not disruptive.

    Wesabe is way more “disruptive” because it shifts the focus of consumer decision-making from the customer/provider to the customer/peer.

    One more reason why Wesabe is, and Mint isn’t: Depsite Mint’s claims that they’re “for everyone” and Wesabe is for “the hardcore”, they’re wrong. It’s the other way around. While money is really really really important to people, we don’t like to manage it. Mint is for the hardcore — the Quicken users (ie MINORITY) who will like the added convenience of Mint. Wesabe is for the masses — and you can’t qualify as “disruptive” if you not affecting a critical mass of the market.

    Ron Shevlin

    July 19, 2008 at 09:42

  2. @Ron .. Aha – finally an actual disagreement of substance!

    Aside from the differences in ‘what’ they do, I place Mint in the same category for one reason only. The aggregation of customer data, across banks, has to have incredible value if it is analysed, and fed back out to the community.

    Of course that only works with enough data, spread across customers of enough different profiles that it can reflect or closely reflect a segment(s).

    I accept your point that Quicken was and is a small minority play and won’t ever get beyond that. I may be allowing a little wishful thinking that Mint is different, and will use new and evolutionary methods to attract more customers. This becomes somewhat chicken and egg, in the sense it depends on how they choose to use and apply the data, but I am betting they will get it right.

    Colin

    July 20, 2008 at 21:09

  3. I agree with both of you guys. Yes Mint/sabe, as well as all the other consumer oriented guys in this space, are most definitely a threat to banks/CU’s. But as far as technology goes, they have great ideas, that consumers definitely like.
    They wont appeal to everyone, but hey some dont like ebay. Some use Yahoo over Google. At the end of the day these are great new technologies that can change the game for banks and credit unions if they are not on their toes.
    Despite what they may claim about working with banks, these new companies are presenting a problem for banks whether they know it now or not. Reality is, as they gain users it will become increasingly intriguing to them to start adding services like bill pay, loan apps, etc. Next thing you know the only thing anyone has in the bank account is petty cash. Other services will start going to these new companies.
    One thing worth noting though is the “increadible growth” everyone refers to. Yes Mint has had an impressive growth in accounts, but how many thousands are accounts just like mine that were opened to evaluate the service, never to be used again? From all those that I ask it seems like 80% are just like me. “Yeah, I have an account. Really cool, but Im not sure I really trust them.” I’ve also heard, the suggestions for better rates arent accurate. “They’ve suggested other institutions that were higher than my own bank”.
    Anyway, Banks need to get in the game and deploy web technologies that can do the same things. I’ve seen technology out there to do this. Question is, Why do they continue to be so slow to realize where the market is going? Banks tend to be followers. They dont want to be the first adopters of anything. But in the online world, things happen quickly. If they wait too much longer they will have lost an awful lot of eyeballs, to the Mint wesabe, Geezeo clan.
    If these services show up in my banks online banking, I’ll be ecstatic! I would use it and love it. But I dont really want to go to yet another non-bank site to manage my money.
    We’ll see! I sure hope they dont force me to by dragging their heels.

    Robert Cabrinha

    July 24, 2008 at 18:07


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