Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Mint morsels: Site adds cash/check transactions, Android app

Intuit's personal-finance Web site has had a reasonably busy spring. Last month, it added support for entering cash and check transactions; a week later, it announced that it could download data from 16,000 financial institutions supported, or "nearly all U.S. banks"; and this morning, it shipped a new application for smartphones running Google's Android software.


Because I've been using Mint as my primary personal-finance tool since last summer, following a positive review I wrote, these developments are all of considerable interest to me.

Letting users enter cash and check transactions beforehand was on many people's must-have lists: The lack of that feature would have made Mint borderline unusable two summers ago, when my wife and I were writing non-trivial checks to cover work done on our house.

Nowadays, we rarely write checks, and so I've only had one opportunity to see whether Mint would match my manually entered check transaction with the figure on the bank's statement later on. It did not, unfortunately.

I haven't given the cash-transactions feature a meaningful test, mainly because most of my cash transactions are too small to bother noting.

As for the new, free Android application -- available in the Android Market as " Personal Finance" -- I can report that it crashed in multiple log-in attempts on a device running the old 1.5 release of Android. On the new HTC Droid Incredible I reviewed in yesterday's paper, the program provided quick access to recent transactions, trends and alerts, but not the site's "Ways to Save" suggestions for more cost-effective financial accounts.

You can lock access to this application with a separate numeric passcode, but it doesn't require that. Mint also lets you deactivate the program remotely from the main site; when I tested that, it took about seven minutes for the Android app to kick me back to its log-in screen, from which I could still reactivate the software by entering my user name and password.

After almost a year with Mint, I'm pretty happy with the site overall. But I also wish its would remedy a few oversights:

* Mint offers bill reminders for only accounts it can log into, which means it knows about my credit-card and mortgage payments but not those for utility services. The site should recognize that I pay Verizon, Washington Gas, Dominion Power, etc. about the same time each month and remind me accordingly -- or let me add my own reminders.

* Ways to Save -- the reason Mint is free, as the site collects commissions on accounts opened through those suggestions -- seems to overlook efficiencies possible by moving cash around existing accounts. In my case, it didn't notice that a credit union money-market fund's interest rate had dropped to the point where I'd be better off dumping that money into a savings account at another institution.

* Next year, I don't want to see Intuit's TurboTax Web application just advertise Mint; it needs to be able to extract tax-relevant data from Mint. (The Mountain View, Calif-.based company, which formerly offered a competing Web application called Quicken Online, bought Mint last year.)

* The site could also stand to offer simpler, faster export options -- and, at some point, it should deliver on its stated long-term goal of providing offline access through Intuit's Quicken software.

Have you used or tried Mint? Post your own review in the comments and let me know what you'd like to see on its to-do list.

By Rob Pegoraro  |  May 3, 2010; 12:56 PM ET
Categories:  Mobile , Productivity  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: As Facebook privacy settings change, company's execs defend the changes
Next: PostPoints tip: Try rebooting a cranky router


I haven't tried this yet, but may soon, as my copy of MS Money sunsets next Feb.

As I understand it, Mint aggregates your accounts into one web interface. But *it does not serve as the bill payer*, is that right?

You still pay bills out of your Bank web interface?

Posted by: JkR- | May 3, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

The view of the site when you print seems intentionally broken. I just wanted a quick summary of all my balances by account and it stretched what should have been a page to 12 pages.

Posted by: hesaid | May 3, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I tried Mint and it is all but useless. Cannot distinguish between travel expenses and groceries. And worst all, recommends more credit cards as a way to save money.

In all, an ounce of common sense beats Mint.

Posted by: beastlet | May 4, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

I tried Mint for a while but it requires too much attention with respect to correcting their suggested categories for transactions. And it can't seem to consistently connect to my brokerage account or TD bank.

Quicken is a lot easier.

Posted by: fedssocr | May 4, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I've been using Mint for about 18 months now and I think it's great for a free tool. I log in pretty regularly from my computer or iPhone to check transactions and adjust the categories if necessary. My wife and I both use so it's helpful to have two sets of eyes on it. Glad to hear they added the manual transaction addition - seemed like that would have been one of the first features implemented, but oh well they have it now.

Overall I'd say Mint is one of the most impressive free services out there.

Posted by: jtest | May 4, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I love Mint and I am SO excited for the Android app! It works just fine on my Nexus One, but I believe a lot of people on 1.5 have had problems. I noticed they shipped an update the very next day after releasing it, so maybe that will fix a few of the bugs.

I still have a broker that they don't support and I would like them to have more access to international banks, but other than that, the site is great.

Posted by: magnuson | May 4, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Mint is really bad. It can't connect to most of my accounts even though they say they do. I can log into company web site fine, but mint won't connect. They are missing many financial institutions.

Posted by: mdembski1 | May 4, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I've been on Mint for a couple of years. It hooks up to my accounts fine, although I do get goofy results on my 401(k)investment performance, which for me is no big deal.

I wish they would add Bill Pay with eBills. I am with Wells Fargo and only stay with them (don't get me started) because I like the functionality of their Bill Pay application.

Posted by: Ktrainer | May 4, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

The cash transactions feature works nicely for me since they still don't support my credit union account and I recently switch my paycheck to go there instead of my ING account. I'm still waiting on a Windows Mobile app too :(

Posted by: ROCSC | May 4, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company