Mint.com Cut Ties with Yodlee?

I didn’t even know the two were actually working together until I read an article on CNNMoney yesterday.

I compared Mint and Yodlee last year after trying Mint.com and noticing some expenses were wrongly categorized (not just wrong, very wrong). At that time, my conclusion was the Yodlee did a better job in putting expenses, such as credit car payments, into the right categories without manual correction, thus the expense report generated by Yodlee was more accurate than Mint.com’s. Why is this important? Since all the budgeting is done based on accurate tracking of expenses, making a budget using Yodlee data would be easier than using data from Mint.com.

But Mint.com apparently¬†has been using Yodlee’s technology, like many other big financial institutions, to power its service for years according to the CNN article.

Mint.com had been dependent on Yodlee for years. Without Yodlee’s technology, Mint couldn’t have provided its 3 million customers with a way to see all of their personal banking data in one place.

But Mint fell for Intuit last year, selling itself off for about $170 million. And with that, the romance was over.

If Mint.com used technology from Yodlee to obtain data from banks, as the article says, the only explanation for the drastic difference between Mint report and Yodlee report is how the two process the raw data. And Yodlee clearly beats Mint on that part even though both essentially access the same raw data.

The article also mentioned that, since early this year, after Intuit, the maker of Quicken tax preparation software, acquired Mint.com, Intuit has begun to move Mint customers away from Yodlee and started to use its own data instead (before the acquisition, Intuit has Quicken Online which did basically the same thing as Mint does). However, it seems that the transition didn’t go very smoothly for some customers.

… many customers found that their data wasn’t showing up on Mint.com. Bank accounts stopped updating. Individual debit transactions never appeared in Mint’s records. It was as if Intuit’s scraping technology just…forgot.

Well, that doesn’t sound pretty. Since I don’t use Mint.com very often, I have no idea how the transition looks like. If you are using Mint.com regularly to manage your money or budget, did you experience anything described in the article, such as missing or lost data?

BTW, I just logged into my Mint.com account again, the first time this year, and while I noticed that payments to Chase credit cards are no longer categorized as Alcohol & Bars as I saw last year, there are still some obvious errors. For example, I buy Proctor & Gamble stock every month through ComputerShare.com and the transaction is put in the Movies & DVD ¬†category in Mint transaction report. That’s not even close.

Anyway, I am glad I don’t have to deal with the headache of messed up data :)

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5 Responses to “Mint.com Cut Ties with Yodlee?”

  1. Peter |  Dec 03, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I use mint.com and haven’t noticed any problems to speak of. All my accounts update, and the expenses all seem to update just fine. Only thing I’ve noticed is a few mis-categorized expenses, but after I changed them a few times they seem to update fine now.

  2. Sun |  Dec 03, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    You would imagine some big improvements after the Intuit take-over. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    I have heard that after manually correcting the wrong expense categories, the software can correct itself going forward, but I haven’t tried that yet. Still mis-categorizing some obvious expenses doesn’t give me a good impression, even though overall it is a good program.

  3. Corina |  Dec 03, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Thanks for the update, I didn’t realize all that was happening in the back end.

  4. Sandy |  Dec 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    I am a Mint user. The service has gone down the tube. Repeated problems with multiple accounts not getting updated. data missing. Erroneous categorization. And the problems come back again and again. Just visit their support pages to see the number of frustrated users.
    I am just about to give it up myself. Looking for options.

  5. rsn |  Jan 02, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Mint is a trainwreck. I have never seen worse customer support or more serious, long-standing unresolved defects in my life. It’s a mystery why people still use Mint, since it cannot actually manager transactions/money reliably. That is a fact. I think some people are attracted to the flashy interface and are not willing or capable to believe that the backend aggregation system is obviously unreliable and continues to get worse. There are much better aggregation options out there, such as yodlee.