US-centric: A brand name in personal finance management you've actually heard of, Quicken, is finally available as a hosted web application at Quicken Online. Unlike new players Mint and Wesabe, Quicken Online puts an assuring, familiar face on the web page that asks you for your online banking sites' passwords. If you've ever used TurboTax Online, you've already entrusted Intuit with your financial data online—so the leap to Quicken Online will be a short one. After the jump, get some screenshots and features of Quicken Online, and the reason why I decided not to sign up for their "free" 30-day trial.
Before I started this review, I watched Quicken Online's introductory screencast (available on the homepage). Lured by promises of a 30-day free trial, I dove right into creating an account so I could get some screenshots of the app in action. However, to do the free trial, you have to give Quicken Online your credit card, which they start charging $2.99 a month after trial's up unless you opt out. Being a cranky tester (and having already given Intuit my credit card number for my desktop Quicken license), I stopped there. The screenshots in this post are from Quicken Online's introductory screencast.
When you set up an account on Quicken Online, you enter your bank information and it automatically downloads your transactions. Weblog Get Rich Slowly reports that Intuit does this all "in-house"—it doesn't sub-contract aggregation to Yodlee or CashEdge like other money webapps do.
Once Quicken sucks in your transactions, Quicken Online's main dashboard displays the money flowing in, the money flowing out, and the difference.
Click on either Money In or Money Out to see a list of applicable transactions.
Like desktop Quicken, the online version whips up a pretty pie chart of how you're spending your ducats.
Since it's web-based, you can do things with Quicken Online you can't on the desktop: like get SMS reminders when a bill is due. Quicken Online also looks mighty purdy on the iPhone.
However, it sounds like Quicken Online still lacks features Quicken desktop users will expect, like splitting transactions. Apparently this, and other features like TurboTax integration, are on the way.
In exchange for your your credit card number, you'll get a "free" 30 day trial. After that, at $2.99 a month, you can use Quicken Online for almost 2 years for the same price a desktop copy of Quicken will cost—and presumably, software updates to Quicken Online are free. Speaking of the price, J.D. over at Get Rich Slowly asked the question we all have:
"How is this different than Mint or Wesabe?" I asked. "Why would anyone pay for this when there are free solutions?"
"Good question," Jim said. "For one, we're advertising-free. We make money off the monthly fee. Mint makes money by selling you things." Jim also stressed that Quicken Online has better connectivity. "And it has the best user interface over Mint and Wesabe," he told me. "There's better categorization. Once Quicken learns, it's pretty easy. It's just a better experience."
If data security has been the one thing that's stopped you from moving your money management online with companies you've never heard of, Quicken Online might be for you. For other (free) webapp money managers, see Adam's review of Mint and Kyle's take on Wesabe.
AU - According to the registration page, you need to be in the US or Canada to sign up for Quicken online.