I could never balance my check book when I was younger. I don’t use checks at all (except to pay my gardener) and I don’t receive a bank statement at the end of each month. I have been using online banking services since the late 90’s and remember trying to connect Quicken to online banking files.
Then in the early 2000’s, I stumbled upon Yodlee, an online financial account aggregator that allowed you to link all your online bank and credit card accounts. It was a free service, and I used that to keep track of all my finances. At one point, I had 2 checking accounts, and 5 credit cards, as well as multiple loans, such as car and school loans. Although Yodlee, was a huge step away from traditional software and was the first entry into SaaS for personal finances, it had its problems. It wasn’t necessarily Yodlee, but all the individual financial services and how they changed authentication methods. It seemed that almost everyday, one of my accounts would go offline and the Yodlee developers would be working furiously to re-establish the connection.
When I first got my iPhone, I wanted to access my accounts on the go. Yodlee didn’t have an iPhone app, so I decided to look around and find a service like Yodlee that had an iOS app. I found a service called Pageonce, but their service was geared more towards bill paying than account aggregation.
I was introduced to Mint through a coworker one day and decided to give it a try. The interface was very clean and presentable and setting up the accounts were very easy. In addition to the web based interface being clean, they had an iOS app that looked and worked much like the website! The cherry on top of the sundae is the OSX integration on the menu bar.