Thursday, October 16, 2008

If You Like Yodlee, You May Enjoy Quicken, Too

That headline sounds like one of those designer imposter perfume commercials (chuckle). I've only mentioned Yodlee (link here) at once. And I have never mentioned Quicken before (except when I mentioned the Chase Quicken card (link here) -- but that doesn't count). Anyhow, Quicken, a household name, has a service that's very much like Yodlee's.

Like Yodlee (link here), which is free (and has always been free), Quicken is now free as well. What's more, both companies are account aggregators. That means that you can see all of your accounts, in real time, all in one place. (Of course, these sites also do a whole lot more as well -- track spending, bill alerts, etc. -- but they're best known for giving you access to all of your accounts in one place.) Quicken is owned by Intuit. Intuit owns TurboTax (a tool that many of us have used). Intuit also owns QuickBooks. If you have a password to any of those services, you won't have to create a new user name and password at Quicken's online site. Your user name and passwords for Intuit's other sites work at Quicken, too.

Anyhow, if you have never used an account aggregator before, let me explain how it works. Once you have logged into your Quicken account, or Yodlee account (if that's your choice), you are prompted to enter your bank account information. You'll be asked for your bank's user name and password. You're asked for that information so that Quicken's computers can log into your bank account for you. Once it has done that, your bank account balances will show up on Quicken's site. Quicken stores this information on its secured site and you'll never have to use your login credentials again.

After you have entered your bank account information, you can then start adding credit card accounts to the mix as well. Again, you'll be prompted for your user names and passwords that pertain to each of the credit card sites you visit. Once you've entered that information, it's stored by Quicken. And, once again, you'll be able to see your card balances and other pertinent information on Quicken's site.

Now, here's the rub. There is always a rub, isn't there? By using these account aggregators, you are housing all of your user names and passwords in one place. If Quicken, Yodlee, or any other company ever has a data breach, you can see how scary that might be. I mention this only because it's a risk. As far as I know, these companies have never suffered a breach like that. I imagine their encryption and security features are world class.

All of that said, if you're interested in Quicken (which used to cost $2.99 a month), you should check it out (link here).


  1. Steve_Oct 16, 2008 08:24 AM
    By default, Quicken marks credit card payments as "Credit Card" -- but this causes the numbers to double in the money out box.

    e.g. You spend $3K on your CC's, pay $3K -- shows up as $6K.

    Easy fix: Mark these as transfer out.
  2. GlobCredit.comOct 16, 2008 08:25 AM
    Steve, excellent information. Thank you. I am sure people will need that information you just provided. Nice.

    Thanks again.
  3. JoshOct 16, 2008 08:30 AM
    I know that many banks use Yodlee's services for their own bill pay and account management services - if Yodlee would be breached we would really be in deep trouble.

    FYI - Mint, is also a great aggregator. Mint makes a point in advertising that they use Yodlee to access your accounts - i.e. Mint never sees your bank information.

    I'm going to try out Quicken now.
  4. GlobCredit.comOct 16, 2008 08:35 AM
    Josh, but Mr. Mint is using Yodlee, too. So, some place, your information is still be stored in one place. I'd feel better going straight to the source (Yodlee). No point in having an additional layer between me and Yodlee.

    That said, I appreciate the comment. I will check out Mr. Mint regardless.
  5. AnonymousOct 16, 2008 08:52 AM
    I thought this headline said:
    "If You Like Yodlee, You May Enjoy Chicken, Too (And It's Now Free)"
    Guess I am hungry. Anyway, this is great info, thanks so much CM!

  6. GlobCredit.comOct 16, 2008 08:53 AM
    Mel, yeah, it should have said chicken. Haha. I am hungry too, pal.

    You are welcome for the information.

    Thanks for reading.
  7. Josh A.Oct 16, 2008 09:20 AM
    I played around with Quicken Online, but couldn't find a way to add my CC rewards accounts. Do they not offer that feature? If not, I'll be sticking with Yodlee for sure.
  8. GlobCredit.comOct 16, 2008 09:21 AM
    You can add credit cards, J. Not sure if every card company is there, though.
  9. SeanOct 16, 2008 09:26 AM
    I use Wachovia's branded version of Yodlee. Doesn't cost me anything and I figure that if anything happened I'd just call up my banker @ Wachovia and ask her to make the problems go away.

    Not sure I'd trust Quicken/Intuit. At the very least, their programming on their consumer products (Quicken 2007-Quicken 2009) is terrible at best. Errors galore and still some of the Windows 3.11-era Quicken code creaking away in the background.
  10. GlobCredit.comOct 16, 2008 09:32 AM
    Sean, but at least you're getting Quicken Online for free! LOL.

    But actually, the online security is seemingly a lot better than the consumer products you put on your desktop. I don't use Quicken products on my computer. I have used TurboTax online in the past.
  11. MidniteOct 16, 2008 10:37 AM
    CM, A breach can happen any where. I just recently received a letter from an old brokerage account company and apparently my data was lost when they was "trucking" some old file to a warehouse. I use Quicken but not the online version. Too risky for my taste and I found it strange they decide to offer it for free now - seems like putting cheese out for the mice. I did get 2 years of Triple Alert for my lost "trucking" issue :)
  12. GlobCredit.comOct 16, 2008 10:51 AM
    Midnite, I hear you. That's why I made that risk disclosure. Some people aren't as paranoid as us, though. Ha!
  13. DrewOct 16, 2008 10:55 AM
    I use the full Quicken and

    1. The full Quicken will direct connect to any website that will allow Quicken 99+ file downloads. Out of all of my credit card accounts, only my Hooters Card doesn't allow the most recent file version. All of the biggies and even Juniper and my podunk credit union allow it.

    2. Juniper's website security can get annoying. If you direct connect with quicken/mint and then go to the website, you'll have to re-enter your "security question" response. Once you head back to Quicken again, your direct connect will fail until you re-enter your security question response again.

    3. Mint got annoying because I would have to enter security question responses a few times a week. This ended up making my weekly reports from Mint nearly useless if I didn't log in nearly every day.

    4. The full version of Quicken can be had for nearly nothing when TurboTax goes on sale in February.

    5. Quicken will allow you to scan any paper statements into the individual accounts. No longer a need to keep the paper copies. I scan them in and they go right in the shredder. You can attach store receipts and warranty information to specific transactions in the register as well.

    6. For data backup, I use DropBox and keep my Quicken file stored on there. It's a great, free, way to store files online and it's incredibly fast. I have no affiliation with the product other than being an extremely pleased user.
  14. GlobCredit.comOct 16, 2008 10:56 AM
    Drew, excellent post. Lots of good information in it.
  15. AnonymousOct 16, 2008 03:50 PM
    I recently read an article about these services. I tried Mint 1st - pretty cool. Then I read about Quicken being free - tried it, but... I don't really like it.

    So far, Mint has been the clear winner and that's even with not being able to load my local CU. Hopefully that will be fixed soon.

    My recommendation - Mint all the way!
  16. GlobCredit.comOct 16, 2008 03:51 PM
    Thanks, Anon. Appreciate the input.
  17. Josh A.Oct 16, 2008 09:20 PM
    I was actually asking about the rewards accounts for the credit cards. Yodlee lets me link my credit cards and any points, miles, cash back, etc. Does Quicken have an option to load these reward accounts that I'm just missing?
    Thanks in advance to anyone who knows the answer.
  18. GlobCredit.comOct 16, 2008 10:10 PM
    Josh, ahh. I do not know the answer to that question. Hopefully someone will come along and answer this for us.
  19. AnonymousOct 25, 2008 05:19 PM
    Be careful with these services. Yodlee attempted to access my credit card accounts AFTER I deleted the accounts from Yodlee and asked them to delete my profile. This went on for 3 months and locked up my online access to a number of my accounts because their system was attempting to access the accounts after I had changed my passwords. If you think your info and your bank/credit card info is deleted from their system when you delete and close your account - think again.
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