Podcast: Big business and the future of online budgeting


Online personal finance tools have come a long way in the past several years. These tools, which allow you to breakdown how you spend your money, identify wasteful spending and save toward specific goals, have typically come from smaller startups rather than traditional banks and big companies. But that's changing.

Examples of this trend include Mint being purchased by Intuit, Citi and Microsoft teaming up to create an online personal finance tool and even American Express is getting in on the action with American Express Money Manager.

In order to get a better idea of what this trend means banks and more importantly, you the consumer, Geoff Williams and myself invited Avi Karnani, the founder and CEO of Thrive, to join us on WalletPop Radio.

While Thrive isn't as well known as competitors like Mint and Quicken Online, it is a respected player and was recently acquired by LendingTree to power its MoneyRight personal finance tool.

Over the past two years these tools have become more accepted by consumers and have attracted a new demographic, older or less tech savvy individuals, by bringing the power of a brand name and additional customer service such as the live customer support number that Thrive provides. Still, with 90 million households banking online in the U.S. less than 5% are using a money management tool to really harness their money.

We talk with Avi about several topics including:

  • How Avi feels about competitors entering this market.

  • Whether people will actually switch banks to use an online budgeting tool.

  • Whether this new competition will cause banks to be more open with their data or closed off.

  • The wonderment new users have when joining a personal finance management site like Thrive.

  • How action based budgets and trade-offs can create behavioral change for a better financial outlook.

If you want to know the answers to these topics and what my credit union's online banking software has in common with the Back Street Boys click listen now.