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MasterCard, Amex move into money management space

15 October 2009  |  14517 views  |  1 wallet

Mastercard is moving into the personal finance budgeting space with the launch of a Web-based tool that enables cardholders to categorise and monitor debit card spending. American Express meanwhile has launched a free online account aggregation and money management service.

Using MasterCard Money Manager, cardholders can review signature and PIN-based MasterCard transactions by merchant category, and create customised categories, making it possible to identify spending patterns and compare actual spend to an allocated budget.

MasterCard says the system simplifies record keeping and eliminates the data entry that most budgeting programs require. Users can track household spending on multiple cards daily, monthly or over time and have the ability to sort transactions by date, merchant category, merchant location, card number and name.

Security Service Federal Credit Union (Security Service FCU) is the first financial institution to offer MasterCard Money Manager to its debit customers.

American Express has taken the idea a step further with the launch of - coincidentally - Money Manager, an online personal finance service that pools cardholder finances across multiple institutions into a secure location on AmericanExpress.com.

Charge Cardmembers can link bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, mortgage loans, car loans, student loans and rewards points from more than 11,000 institutions and access charts that automatically categorise their spending, set budgets, receive alerts to stay on track, and get updates on their investments.

The personal financial management (PFM) space has become a hotly-contested market as recession-hit consumers seek to reign in their spending and take greater control of their finances.

In September, word leaked out that Citi and Microsoft were pouring millions of dollars into the creation of a PFM tool capable of taking on start-ups like Mint, currently the subject of a $170 million buy-out from Intuit.

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 15 October, 2009, 16:39

This is just the beginning, and while it's the right direction yet it's not yet enough. According to what we see in our data, it's not enough to provide great money-management capabilities for just one particular type of card account. Consumers want a return to the financial services simplicity they had in the 1950's--prior to introduction of all the complex financial services instruments such as networked credit cards and mutual funds--allowing always-on, real-time, transparent, integrated, customer-controlled and safe management of financial assets from one central provider. Intuit acquired Mint because their market share of the US PFM space went from 48% to 79% of online consumers with one acquisition (according to Javelin research data). The first financial provider to give consumers (and even small businesses) the level of control through what we call the Customer-Driven Architecture will enjoy similar market dominance. The technology is available, and a ready market waits. 

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