iPhone App Sherpa: Mint.com ... In App Form

With all the big news this week about Intuit (makers of Quicken software) acquiring the beloved new online personal finance management site, Mint.com, I thought it was high time we looked at the nuts and bolts of Mint’s iPhone (Stock Quote: AAPL) application.

Most commentators have said Intuit’s $140 million purchase of Mint was a great deal for the big brand, but they worry it will degrade Mint’s user experience or cause the service to start charging a usage fee, like most other Quicken software offerings. According to a statement issued by the two brands, Mint will remain free and continue to have the same user-friendly appeal. In truth, only time will tell what will happen as a result of this partnership.

At its very core Mint.com is an online personal finance one-stop shop. It allows you to access and monitor your bank, credit card, loan and investment accounts. You can also track your spending, cash flow, budgets and expenses all in one place.

Compared to other budgeting or expense tracking apps we’ve reviewed, Mint is simpler and more reliable because it claims to automatically sync all your transactions with your bank accounts. It does this by gaining access to your accounts after receiving permission from you and using federated third-party security software. Of course one of the main concerns with this kind of Web site (and mobile application) is the issue of security. Mint’s CEO, Aaron Patzer, makes a pretty solid case for how security is a top priority at Mint in this short YouTube video presentation.

However, questions still linger with regard to the security issue. Although Mint offers a way for you to instantly deactivate access to your mobile account on Mint.com should your iPhone get lost or stolen, there is still the issue of password-protected logins.

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