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Online financial services site Wesabe has announced the launch of SpringBoard today. SpringBoard is basically a white-label version of Wesabe’s tools and services that banks and other financial institutions can tie into to make mashups that will benefit the end consumer. Back in November Wesabe partnered with The Telegraph newspaper in the U.K. to create a similar personal finance site.
Colin Henderson describes the SpringBoard launch an application suite. Colin spoke with Wesabe CEO Marc Hedlunch regarding the launch. Marc noted that every transaction makes Wesabe smarter. If that’s the case, any partnerships with banks will make Wesabe brilliant.
Basically the banks and credit unions can either tie into Wesabe using their APIs or the full personal finance site similar to the Telegraph implementation I noted above. The service could be a great value add for the smaller independent banks which appear to still be doing well financially and could help these banks compete with the larger national banks with a better suite of services.
Last month competitor Geezeo launched a white-label service, Geezeo Spectrum.
Online financial services site Wesabe has announced a new partnership today with WattzOn. Today’s news comes just a month after Wesabe launched their cutback tool. WattzOn describes their service as, "online tool to quantify, track, compare and understand the total amount of energy needed to support all of the facets of your lifestyle with the goal of helping you find ways to reduce your personal power consumption."
"WattzOn will serve as a currency converter for Wesabe members, letting them see their spending not only in dollars, but in actual watts. In addition to providing a dual financial and environmental view of energy usage, WattzOn will also help our members better understand their individual energy consumption and the far-reaching effects of cutting back," said Marc Hedlund, CEO of Wesabe.
It looks like this partnership will help Wesabe users learn more about their power usage and perhaps will help to reduce their usage which helps the environment and the checkbook.
In these tough economic times we are all facing, figuring out where we can cut back and save is important. I’ve been working on cutting out expenses (transit, cable, phone, etc.) – heck, I even switched to light Twinkies to save a buck!
Online financial management application Wesabe has launched a new feature they call the "Cutback tool". The company explains how the service works, "The Cutback Tool looks for trends in your monthly spending, and flags recurring items on your account transaction page. Next, you’re asked if you’d like to cut back on these items, and are shown the resulting annual savings." They even include a list of phone numbers you will need to call to cancel a specific service.
They note that several of their members have already found areas where they can cutback and also noticed charges that they didn’t realize were recurring.
Online financial services site Wesabe has announced a new partnership today which will bring Wesabe’s financial tools to the UK. The tools are live on the Daily Telegraph’s website, telegraph.co.uk. Wesabe already claims to support members in 30 countries. From what I can recall, this is the first international deal for any of the new crop of U.S. based online financial services providers. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Telegraph self-reported 22.9 million unique visitors in September 2008. It will be interesting to see how UK residents take to the idea of sharing their bank information/passwords with an external source and one that is based outside the UK. Wesabe allows their customers to upload files as well which does not require bank passwords to be shared. Most of the other new online banking services do not support this option and require bank passwords to be shared.
In any event this looks like a huge win for Wesabe as it should provide good visibility for their service in another large country outside the U.S.
Online financial services site Wesabe has announced a leadership change effective today. Co-founder Marc Hedlund is back in as CEO, replacing co-founder Jason Knight. Jason is leaving to be with his newborn son who has been diagnosed with a serious respiratory condition that requires ongoing medical attention and constant care. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Knight family.
Marc has a lengthy blog post explaining more about the transition and how he and Jason came to work together. Check out my interview with Marc Hedlund for more background on him and to learn why Wesabe is different than the competition in the online financial management space.
Editor’s note: Wesabe competitor Geezeo is a current CN sponsor.
Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) has launched their new online product called Quicken Online. Immediately one starts to think of the "new" players in this area which include: SpendView, Mint, Geezeo and Wesabe. There’s certainly room for multiple players in this market, especially as each offers something a bit different. But Intuit can outspend all of them on marketing and will most likely be able to grab the mainstream segment relatively easy.
Quicken Online has a different business model than the competition – free trial then $2.99/month. Most of the competitors are either using some form of advertising or, in Mint’s case, savings proposals based on the data you upload.
If you’ve been reading CenterNetworks for a while, you know that I have issues with all of these sites that require you to give them all of your financial passwords so they can access your system. Wesabe is the only one who offers an upload option so you can decide how much to trust them. Quicken Online faces the same issues as the others as you are required to give them all of your logins and passwords for your financial institutions. Unlike the others, Intuit has a 10 billion dollar market cap and has been creating Quicken for 25 years. Does that change my opinion on it? Perhaps a pinch but still not enough as I’d like. Especially when at the end of the video below they joke that they purchased a verisign security system to make customers feel better. Oh snap, the Verisign logo is gone now – but it’s in the video – what does that mean?
Outside of the data security issues, the application looks like a standard Web application. Think of the most basic Quicken version, and you have it. I would have preferred that they separated it from the rest of the Quicken Web site and given it a fresh look and feel. Right now it feels jammed into the old Quicken site. This is an area that the competition will need to capitalize on. Especially because from what I’ve seen the competition is using "socialness" and most of them are using heavier trending to help you spend less and save more.
To try to hit the early adopter tech set, they created an iPhone app. Actually it’s not iPhone specific, it’s just a mobile version of the site. They do note that this version is only available on the iPhone and not the Blackberry or other mobile devices.
Here are a couple screenshots showing the text functions and the iPhone mobile site:
Online money management site Wesabe has launched the mobile version of their service today. The screenshots look great (see below).
Marc notes on the Wesabe blog, "…entering cash transactions from the road is a huge help. If you’re waiting for the barrista to make your favorite coffee drink, call up Wesabe Mobile and drop the cost of that drink into your accounts, and you’ll have a way to test the much-touted latte factor for yourself." In my former accounting life, getting the client to actually enter the transactions was the absolute hardest point. Being able to zap a transaction from anywhere should help keeping the books much easier. Sitting at your favorite pizzeria for a slice, zap it. At Aveda for a spa treatment, zap it. Etc.
Marc also notes that you must have a SSL-browser on your mobile device to use the service. Unlike the SMS options offered by the competition listed below, Marc says that SMS isn’t secure.
As I noted in my interview recap with Marc Hudlund, what I like about Wesabe is that I decide how much to trust them. I can give them the keys to the kingdom or only upload what I feel is appropriate and still get basically the full benefits of the system.
From what I can tell, Geezeo offers sms-based account information, Mint offers SMS alerts and SpendView currently has no mobile functionality. Today’s announcement moves Wesabe to the head of the pack with regards to mobile access.