Strong UK demand for online money management tools - Yodlee

Strong UK demand for online money management tools - Yodlee

Over half of Brits are "highly interested" in managing their money online through a single Web site, according to a survey from Yodlee.

The US personal finance management outfit, which polled 500 people in the UK, found that over a third of respondents currently use three or more sites to look after their money. Over half of those surveyed check their online account every week or more, and do so for the convenience and control it offers them.

Most want to be able to make money management more convenient by using a single site and two thirds of these want that service provided by a trusted financial institution, like their bank.

A quarter of respondents say they would consider switching banks to get online PFM services in one place but 65% are unaware that such a product even exists. Unsurprisingly, Yodlee says this shows "a tremendous need and opportunity for online personal financial management services".

Jason O'Shaughnessy - who the firm appointed MD, Emea, yesterday as it seeks to expand its presence outside of the US - says: "We believe simple online tools that help consumers better manage and understand their money - anywhere, anytime, and from any computer or mobile device - are what consumers really want and need, and these survey results clearly show that. This is a time when technology should be making money management easy, intuitive, and insightful, not complicated and scary."

In the UK, Money Dashboard and Lovemoney have both recently launched, using Yodlee technology for their platform. However, not all PFM services have proved successful: Kublax - another Yodlee customer - folded in February after running out of cash while US pioneer Wesabe, which operated in the UK through a partnership with the Daily Telegraph, has also gone to the wall.

Comments: (4)

Nick Ogden
Nick Ogden - - London 11 August, 2010, 19:31Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I am sure that this "base research" is all true, as it matches what we already know, BUT, if you read the Yodlee user agreement, Section G, Rights You Grant to Yodlee, you are giving in effect an open licence to them to use your personal data.

Was that fact/question part of this research and, if so, what was the response? Surely if we use services like this it should be on the absolute basis that we are anonymous, our usage data is free from interrogation and data mining activities, and we are not continually pestered by un-solicited advertising?

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 August, 2010, 10:30Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

You raise an interesting point Nick - who has the liability when a third-party aggregator enters the picture? Should online bank T&Cs routinely deny liability when another service or app is used to access accounts? 

David Divitt
David Divitt - VocaLink - London 12 August, 2010, 10:33Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

This is an interesting story and is obviously one for debate! I can understand the desire from consumers to use an online money management site and, indeed, any site that makes it easier for consumers to interact with their bank, such as regularly checking statements, has significant possible benefits.

However, I would be interested to understand further how sites like this interact with the banks' security systems. Preventing fraud over the online banking channel is an imperative for banks, and to do that many are implementing intricate security processes and checks at the authentication stage. The risk is that these aggregator sites may pose a weak link in the security chain, for example if they can't fully facilitate so called 'out-of-band' communication, or the necessary IP address information for IP checking.

I would also highly encourage consumers to check with their banks about any potential liability shift through the use of sites - for example it may be that if the consumer ‘gives' their login details to a site like this, they in turn become liable for any subsequent fraud losses.

Saying that, however, it will be interesting to see how this technology develops. If any potential security threats can be mitigated then there is the potential that these sites could, in turn, actually provide an additional layer of transaction monitoring for banks across different organizations, rather than the bank only having its own data as a way of identifying potentially fraudulent transactions. I will watch with interest.

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 12 August, 2010, 19:08Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Much of the customer's security concerns would get addressed if only either (a) banks agree to issue 'read-only' credentials that can be shared with the Personal Finance Managers, or (b) the PFMs find a way of using a trusted third-party to let customers provide onetime access to their bank accounts - similar to the manner in which merchant websites use Mazooma, BillDesk or iDEAL to let account holders log in to their Internet Banking websites by themselves instead of disclosing any personal information to merchant websites.