- Poor overall online banking user experience and customization capabilities. See this post for more info and examples
- Assuming PFM can serve the mass market (e.g. not everyone wants to or needs to budget. What a wealthy person needs or is willing to do online is not the same as what someone in debt requires or is willing to do).
- Poor auto categorization accuracy
- Lack of relevant and targeted user education
- The list goes on and on
The good news is that adoption is expected to climb. The report has all kinds of forecasts that provide insight as to where PFM is headed. It also delves into qualitative details as to what is required by financial institutions in order to make PFM viable. There’s also a whole discussion about tablets and their role and potential in online banking and PFM.
- P2P Payments. Fiserv has a ZashPay, CashEdge has Popmoney. Why does Fiserv need two separate solutions? Well, there is lots of activity taking place in the online banking space with regards to P2P. The recent announcement of ClearXchange (a joint venture of Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase) has raised a lot of eyebrows and everyone is wondering whether this is the P2P payments silver bullet. Can a joint ZashPay/Popmoney solution take on the likes of ClearXchange? Should it take on ClearXChange or attempt to be part of it? This is still a murky area as there are lots of unknowns, but I would love to hear your thoughts.
- Account Aggregation, Online Banking, PFM. There are 3 main account aggregation players – Yodlee, Intuit, and CashEdge. Fiserv’s acquisition of CashEdge now allows them to offer account aggregation and tie it into their Voyager online banking solutions. No doubt this is also a major stab at rival Intuit and their online banking and account aggregation endeavours. CashEdge is also an Intuit partner, and this now opens up doors for Fiserv to step in and attempt to woo Intuit online banking customers. It’s also a stab at Jack Henry, as CashEdge is the aggregation provider for their PFM solution. It could also be a stab at firms like ClairMail, another CashEdge partner. Will Fiserv box out Intuit, Jack Henry, and ClairMail customers with this acquisition? Things could get mighty sticky as competition is clearly heating up.
- Small Business Payments. This is a fast growing area, and one that is changing rapidly as banks and vendors attempt to simplify the online banking money movement process. Every online banking provider needs to work on this area. For more info, see my small business online banking vendor evaluation report.
This is clearly a strategic and competitive move on Fiserv’s part. I believe it holds a lot of potential, it will all come down to execution and how the joint entity will work with its banking clients and prospects. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
- 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