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Intuit Buys Mint for $170 Million: Quicken Online and Mint to Coexist

This article was written by in Software. 8 comments.

The news in personal finance today is that Intuit, the makers of Quicken and TurboTax, purchased internet start-up Mint, a service that has come into its own in the past few years. The two companies offer competing products: Quicken Online and Mint are both free web applications that aggregate your financial information across a wide variety of banks, credit cards, and investment accounts.

We’ve reviewed both offerings at Consumerism Commentary. We offered one of the first looks at Quicken Online as well as an early look at Mint, both from 2007. We’ve also spoken to representatives from each of the companies for the Consumerism Commentary Podcast. On May 3, we spoke with Aaron Patzer, the CEO of Mint and on June 7, we spoke with Barron Ernst, the product manager of Quicken Online. Both interviews offered interesting insights into the software and the philosophy behind the companies.

There has been fierce competition between the two companies as they raced to announce higher user numbers. Intuit challenged Mint not too long ago to substantiate their claims that they were adding 3,000 users a day. Any bitterness seems to have subsided for the time being. Mint seemed to be winning the battle over users, and it’s not a bad move for Intuit to buy the competition.

Each application has its own strengths and weaknesses. Personally, I use the desktop version of Quicken to manage my own finances. I don’t believe the software is perfect, but I prefer it above any of the web-based applications.

With this deal, Intuit obtains customers it was unable to reach and Mint obtains the backing of one of the best-known software brands. Intuit will continue offering both web-based services for free, and there are no current plans to integrate one set of users into the other piece of software. How long will it continue to make sense to maintain two highly similar services under one roof? Consolidating the users of the two separate services into one larger user base would solidify the surviving software’s spot at the summit among other similar services such as Geezeo.

Read Quicken’s announcement | Read Mint CEO Aaron Patzer’s opinion

Updated March 21, 2011 and originally published September 14, 2009.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

Interesting. I decided a while ago that I’d rather not use an online financial management aggregator for my information and your post pretty much solidifies using Quicken as standalone software. I’m doing that now and I don’t see a reason to change. Though I agree, it’s not perfect, but no software ever is. :-)

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avatar 2 Anonymous

Call the anti-trust department!

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avatar 3 Anonymous

I am little cloudy on this though. Intuit created Quicken but do not own it anymore? So they sold it before and now have purchased they obviously have a good track record in maintaining the product so that its attractive to buyers. I assume that is their plan and a decent one indeed.

As far as the future of Mint, I have been using it religiously for the past year and I like the recent updates it has provided. I really hope they don’t change anything drastically. Moving away from standalone software to web apps provides more risk but everything is a web app today.

Interested in seeing the discussion from this, thanks for the update Flexo!

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avatar 4 Luke Landes

Intuit does still own Quicken i all its various flavors. Now they own both Quicken Online and Mint.

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avatar 5 Anonymous

Ok. Thanks for clearing that up. Now I am totally perplexed? Why would they want to own competing products AND agreeing with the notion below of @the_Weakonomist…. how the heck is this possible under the rules that govern business?

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avatar 6 Anonymous

I just don’t see how the DOJ could have possibly allowed this. First they let XM/Sirius get by and now this? What’s next? Microhoo?

Actually this is a fine purchase and Intuit made the right move to get some ownership of an online brand. Despite conservative consumer’s current feelings, it’s where it’s all headed. I don’t manage my finances with it but I do love Mint for a quick snapshot at my bank balances.

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avatar 7 Anonymous

I think this is horrible news. I’ve had nothing but trouble and headaches with all Intuit products – they are clunky and unintuitive. Mint was like a dream come true after Quicken and QuickBooks. I couldn’t believe how easy it was.

If you do a Twitter search for @Mint you’ll see tons of other people very unhappy about the buyout.

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avatar 8 Anonymous

We all know how this goes down. Mint ceases to build any new features while quicken poorly attempts to close the gap between the two products. ala Yahoo buys delicious, Google buys Writely.

…sad day for Mint users :(

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