Acquired by Intuit, Inc. in 2009, Mint is a free web-based financial management services that allows users to connect with and keep track of their income and expenses. Through Mint, users can also monitor investments, create budgets and goals, and track loan balances.
For a free app with not many accounting features, Mint has a lot going for it. In addition to receiving live updates on all of your personal finances, Mint also boasts several impressive features:
- Free Credit Score: Users can answer a few simple questions to verify their identity and are given free access to their credit score.
- Monthly Budgets and Goals: You can set custom monthly budgets for all expense categories, and assign monthly goals to pay off debts.
- Email Notifications: Mint will email users when they are getting close to exceeding one of their monthly budgets
- Advice: Both the desktop and the mobile applications feature an advice section for users looking to invest their money or start a new line of credit.
As for points of criticism, Mint does have some shortcomings. First, given that it is a free service, Mint does not support multiple currencies, nor does it feature a GPS tracking app for reporting travel expenses. And unlike some of its competitors, Mint does not support any type of receipt capturing software but what transactions will show up on your bank or credit statement.
Unlike its small-business counterpart QuickBooks and other softwares, Mint does not employ a 256-SSL bank-level encryption over the data its users send, but rather 128-bit. In other words, all usernames, passwords, and financial information Mint receives is at risk for being hacked. And though Mint does have some additional security protocol in place (e.g. a separate access code for mobile users), the lack of bank-level security has nonetheless raised concerns.