Mint.com Lets You Initiate The SMS

I got an email earlier this week from Mint.com, letting me know that they now offer inbound SMS. This means that you can send an SMS with various commands, and receive information back. Sounds cool, I’ll agree, but I’m not 100% convinced of why I would want to use Mint.com in the first place.

If you’re not familiar (I wasn’t), Mint.com is basically somewhat like a web-based Microsoft Money. You create an account, and then import all of your financial accounts into their system. Immediately, they’ll pull in all of your transactions and spending habits, and analyze those, so that you can easily see how much you’ve been spending, and where. There are all sorts of nifty ways to view this information, and you can setup budgets and whatnot, as well.

The notifications settings are extensive, and I like that you can have SMS sent to you for specific events, such as specific balance levels, bill due dates, etc. This new addition of inbound SMS extends that, allowing you to initiate the information coming to you.

However, before I can enjoy the ease of SMS, I’m not 100% convinced of why I would want to allow a 3rd party access to *all* of my financial information, and why I would want to do that online, either. To be fair, I’m a heavy user of my bank’s website. I login nearly daily, to monitor balances, pay bills, transfer funds, etc. I don’t have an issue with this, as I assume my bank has sufficient security and all that.

With Mint.com, the intro video emphasizes that your account is only linked to your email address – not any personally identifying information such as your name or address. However, in order to pull in your financial stuff, you’re asked to login to your bank’s website, through the Mint.com site. So, if they have access to my bank’s website, don’t they then have access to my name and such?

I think I’m far more comfortable using an application that’s stored on my computer, separate from the internet. I’m no privacy nut – I do plenty of online shopping, and heck, I’m 100% ‘googlable’ myself. I’m still just not comfortable having everything on there.

What about you? Are you currently a Mint.com user? Or do you share the same reservations that I do?

Published by rcadden

Just a dude with a phone.

4 thoughts on “Mint.com Lets You Initiate The SMS

  1. Ricky,

    I’m a mint user! I like it because it lets you compare your spending to other users in your zip code. I spend a lot less on food and gas than most other San Franciscans. I also like Mint because it can send you a weekly balance sheet with all of my accounts in one place, and calculates your net worth. It can also make suggestions for better deals, like a credit card with a lower interest rate for example.

    As for the security aspect, I trust Mint and the FDIC. I trust that Mint has hired people that know more about security than myself. And I trust that the FDIC has me covered in the event of identity theft, up to $100,000 per bank account. I’m nowhere near that limit yet, and once I get close, I’ll probably have an accountant that knows better. I used to be extremely paranoid about sharing anything online, but it was a barrier to investing for sure.

    Your bank’s website is protected with a simple username/password/secutiry question combo. Why is it less secure to tell these to Mint and let them login for you? I’m assuming that Mint’s security is at least as high as a banking website, I suppose.

    Another competitor for Mint is Wesabe and exspensr. I’ve used Wesabe, but I like Mint better.

  2. Ricky,

    I’m a mint user! I like it because it lets you compare your spending to other users in your zip code. I spend a lot less on food and gas than most other San Franciscans. I also like Mint because it can send you a weekly balance sheet with all of my accounts in one place, and calculates your net worth. It can also make suggestions for better deals, like a credit card with a lower interest rate for example.

    As for the security aspect, I trust Mint and the FDIC. I trust that Mint has hired people that know more about security than myself. And I trust that the FDIC has me covered in the event of identity theft, up to $100,000 per bank account. I’m nowhere near that limit yet, and once I get close, I’ll probably have an accountant that knows better. I used to be extremely paranoid about sharing anything online, but it was a barrier to investing for sure.

    Your bank’s website is protected with a simple username/password/secutiry question combo. Why is it less secure to tell these to Mint and let them login for you? I’m assuming that Mint’s security is at least as high as a banking website, I suppose.

    Another competitor for Mint is Wesabe and exspensr. I’ve used Wesabe, but I like Mint better.

  3. Matthew – thanks for chiming in, and I do honestly feel a bit better knowing you’re a satisfied customer. I’m sure they’ve got all sorts of security measures in place, I was just rather put off that they didn’t really address those in the intro video – just kinda assumed that there was nothing weird about handing over the username/passwords to all your financial accounts to a website.

  4. Matthew – thanks for chiming in, and I do honestly feel a bit better knowing you’re a satisfied customer. I’m sure they’ve got all sorts of security measures in place, I was just rather put off that they didn’t really address those in the intro video – just kinda assumed that there was nothing weird about handing over the username/passwords to all your financial accounts to a website.

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