Financial services provider Intuit is offering its popular personal financial management (PFM) product Mint to financial institutions on a white-label basis, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company announced today. The service is in pilot mode with several institutions, and will be more broadly available later in the year.
Mint has about 12 million users, according to Maria Smith, group product manager at Intuit Financial Services. Those users are attractive customers for financial institutions, with over $2,000 on average in savings and over $34 billion saved since Mint was launched in 2007.
Intuit Inc, acquired Mint in 2009 for $170 million.
Smith told Bank Innovation that though Mint was designed for a tech-savvy digital banking audience, the product will likely be used by a less savvy audience as financial institutions incorporate it into their offerings. The service be priced based on volume of users.
The purported benefits of PFMs are well-known: PFM users have deeper relationships with their banks and are better customers.
But PFM is at an odd juncture right now. Rather than being viewed as a discreet product by customers, PFM is viewed as a series of tools. So rather than being a tab on an online banking site that contains pie charts and budget projections, PFM is distributed around the online – and even more importantly, mobile – banking experience to help customers see their finances more clearly and make better decisions in real time.
How will Mint, with its award-winning design and user experience, respond to this? What tools does Mint offer to the banks that they can’t get elsewhere? It seems to us that Mint offers a unique experience, highly designed with a self-selecting group of customers in mind, that may not be ideally suited for broader distribution within FIs’ online environments.
Smith declined to discuss which features of Mint will be part of a distributed offering, but acknowledged that distributed PFM is a reality today. Doubtless Mint will work differently as institutions customize the offering. But how much of Mint’s value proposition will survive this sort of treatment? Mint does have a robust mobile experience that could be ported into a bank’s mobile app. But if banks override Mint’s design with their own, is what remains enough?
The transition into FIs’ systems will be made simple in many cases because more than 2,800 financial institutions already use Intuit Financial Services.
A discussion at Bank Innovation 2013 revolved around the issue of whitelabelling successful nonbank financial services. Panelist Sam Maule of Carlisle & Gallagher suggested whitelabelling was the path to prosperity for a service like Simple. Several attendees disagreed.
— Kristoffer Lawson (@Setok) March 19, 2013
— Bradley Leimer(@leimer) March 19, 2013
Now Intuit, a company that already works closely with financial institutions, is testing those waters to see if innovation can survive inside the walls as well as outside them.
Intuit had revenue of $4.15 billion billion in 2012.
This story was updated to correct the amount of Intuit’s 2012 revenue.