Intuit shutting down Quicken Online, but will move some users' data to Mint
Last week, Intuit e-mailed users of Quicken Online that it would close the site on Aug. 29. But the message did not clarify that the company had given up on earlier plans to migrate Quicken Online users' data to Mint.
That detail was left for users to find in a tech-support article, which blamed "the complexity of the different categorization tables, budgets and account authentication between Quicken Online and Mint.com" for the company's inability to provide the migration solution it had promised.
Intuit instead suggested that Quicken Online users download their data as "CSV" files, a crude format that often requires extra work before use in such programs as Intuit's Quicken desktop software. Annoyed users also complained that the late-August shutdown would leave them with incomplete records for next year's records.
Intuit now says that it will offer a more limited migration of data from its old site to the new one. Quicken personal finance general manager Aaron Patzer, who founded Mint, e-mailed Thursday night to say that "we have found a lightweight solution in the past two days which will allow Quicken Online users to keep all their 2010 data, for use in tax record keeping." He explained:
The solution is this: Users will be able to go into Mint.com, and search for "Quicken Online" as a "bank", type in their Quicken Online username and password, and all their transactions will be imported into a Mint account named "Quicken Online Historic Txns". Those transactions will be automatically categorized with about 94% accuracy using Mint's best-in-class categorization engine.
Patzer said the company would post more details in a day or two. He said about 60,000 people still use Quicken Online, while "Mint adds nearly that many new users in one week."
Note that Quicken Online users will need to re-create their old accounts in Mint to ensure they have a full year's worth of tax records.
Meanwhile, the third personal-finance Web application I reviewed last year, Wesabe, is days away from its own shutdown. Chief executive Marc Hedlund wrote on the startup's blog June 30 that it was running out of money and would close instead of letting its service or security deteriorate.
So at the end of next month, we'll be looking at one main Web-based personal-finance program (which, I should note, has worked fine for me) and a batch of smaller competitors: Yodlee MoneyCenter and the Web applications offered on the Web sites of individual banks. What's your forecast for this market: Will Intuit continue to own it, or will it get some serious competition?
July 23, 2010; 5:15 PM ET
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