September 18, 2007
Mint's New Approach to Financial Management
I was fortunate to see an early beta demo a few weeks before I headed off on vacation this summer and was impressed by their vision around personal financial management.
First Round Capital is an early investor, who has a suite on the second floor of the Palace Hotel for their portfolio companies -- just like they did at Web 2.0.
Mint helps you manage your money online as well as gives you tips on how to save money. While existing personal finance software “solutions” require hours to set up, you can be up and running with Mint in 5-10 minutes.
Mint CEO Aaron Patzer emphasizes privacy on the TC40 stage meaning "we don't ask for anything about you personally - just your finances." Translate: they don't ask for your name or any information about you.
Mint automatically pulls together your bank, credit union and credit card data, and provides up-to-date and accurate views of your financial life - from the big picture to specific details, such as the 'in-and-out' of your debit and credit cards.
Mint goes beyond visibility and analysis; providing personalized money-saving and money-making suggestions. Accessible from your desktop, laptop or cell phone, it categories and classifies all of your transactions.
Says Aaron, "you can see how much you have spent on shopping, services, even specific vendors, like Amazon. It can track how much you have spent on restaurants and groceries. You can dive into your finances at a transaction level and you can see where you are using all of your debit and credit cards."
You can not only see where your money goes, but Mint can help you save money. Because it analyzes how you are spending money and where (what categories, etc), Mint comes back with useful recommendations, such as a lower rate for vendors you use on a regular basis, i.e, utilities, cell phone charges, etc.
He shows an example of a vendor spend, i.e, Mint can see that you are spending $45 a month for Vonage so it can then extract information on a promotion that either Vonage is having to save you money on future monthly bills or from a competitor. Advertising ends up saving you money.
"The savings rate in this country is negative," says Aaron. "We think if people know where all their money is going and if they find ways to optimize their personal finances without searching or doing all the hard work, this will be a great thing for consumers."
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