- There is a big difference between number of users and number of ACTIVE users. Total number of users is a meaningless figure. Anyone can sign up for an account, try the service, leave, and never come back. The number of active users is not a publicly available figure and they are the ones that really matter here. Intuit will obviously acquire Mint’s user base as part of this deal and it would be useful to know more precise figures regarding active users.
- Mint’s business model is questionable. Mint has always been clear that they believe consumers should take care of PFM with them instead of with a bank. While they have been successful at growing their user base, it’s unclear if they have actually been able to generate revenue. They started off with a model based on referrals and suggestions (e.g. suggest a new credit card that may be better than the one you currently have). In May announced that they “may begin to sell anonymous consumer data” (see my blog entry, The Risks of PFM Revealed), a practice I am very much against.
I would also like to point out that this could be good news for banks who are looking at their PFM options. A combined Mint/FinanceWorks solution offered to financial institutions could prove to be a compelling option. This could be particularly appealing to midsize to large banks who want to work with an experienced vendor like Digital Insight / Intuit.
UPDATE 11:43am. Intuit confirms Mint.com acquisition