Online Financial Management Tools: Mint Vs Yodlee

Managing your finances online has never been simpler. Recently, there are tons of online financial management sites competing for your attention. Basically, online financial management sites keep track of all of your banking, checking, savings, investment, and other accounts in one simplified place. Instead of logging in to 50 different websites just to see all of your account balances, you can make a single stop at one of these sites to see them all together. Two of these sites that I am going to focus on today are Mint and Yodlee. It's interesting because Yodlee actually provides the backbone of Mint as it handles all of the actual bank connections, etc. However, with that information, Mint does a number of things differently, which this article will examine. So if you're looking for the best place to consolidate your finances, keep reading.

Security

Security is probably one of the first things you want to know about when you're trusting a website with your bank account information. You don't have to trust me alone on this, but both of these sites are incredibly secure. Simply search for "is mint safe" or "is yodlee safe" on Google, and you can verify this with tons of reports. Both of these sites take security extremely seriously, and you can read their web articles about what they do to keep you safe. Essentially, they both use bank-level encryption of data, high security facilities, etc. Because Mint and Yodlee both use the same method of accessing your data (through Yodlee), they are MOSTLY the same in terms of physical level of security.

I want to discuss a few of the key differences between these sites in the area of security. Mint claims that part of their security feature is never requiring you to enter identifying information such as a name, address, etc. Yodlee on the other hand, requires your name, age, address, etc.

The reason for this is that Mint doesn't actually allow you to pay bills or transfer any money out of your account. In contrast, Yodlee allows you to pay bills online, which requires your name and information on file. Obviously you could create a fake name if you didn't need to pay bills, but generally they require a name. This is why I am declaring Mint the winner for the security section.

Ease Of Use

If you're going to be using your online financial planner to view all of your accounts in one place, it's going to need to be extremely easy to use. The menus should make sense and logging in and adding accounts should be straightforward and simple. In my experience with Mint and Yodlee, Mint is a lot more user-friendly. Yodlee is full of features, which I'll get to in a bit, but Mint is much more visually appealing and simple to use. The menus aren't crowded and it's easy to find out what buttons to press to add a new account.

As you can see, Mint has a very streamlined appearance and a great tabbed interface across the top. Using Mint is a breeze and searching for how to add a link, etc. is never difficult.

Yodlee's interface is a bit more crowded, making it slightly harder to use. There are tons of menu options, some of which aren't explained clearly. 

Overall, both sites are well-designed. I wouldn't claim that Yodlee is too difficult to use, it's just more difficult than Mint. For that reason, I am giving this round to Mint.

Features

Once you log in to both of these sites, you'll quickly realize that Yodlee is no match for Mint in terms of features. Both of the sites do the basics: transaction categorizing, charts for spending habits, etc. But Yodlee introduces a number of features that Mint doesn't have. One feature that Mint has that Yodlee does not (without a ridiculous workaround) is cash transactions. In Mint, you can tell it you spent $10 cash at the store and it combines that with the rest of your data. Here's a comparison of features:

Both sites have a lot of other features that I couldn't include in the chart, but the overall consensus is that Yodlee has a lot more options, especially when it comes to actually moving money within your accounts or paying bills.

Conclusion

Mint and Yodlee are both amazing products. They're also both free which makes them great too! But in the end, I can't honestly make a decision on which one is best. It really depends on your needs. So I'll write this:

Winner: Mint - You'll love Mint if finances are a pain to you. It's easy to add new accounts, organize transactions, and see where your money is going. There are enough features to make the site useful, but not enough to confuse the heck out of you. Mint is the perfect option for a single glance at all your accounts and monitoring them for fraud and changes.

Winner: Yodlee - You'll love Yodlee is you want an infinite amount of control over every aspect of your accounts. Yodlee is great if you need to pay a large number of bills and want to do it from one simplified place. The menus can be confusing at times, but you'll come to understand them quickly and they'll prove useful. Overall, Yodlee is great for many different aspects of managing finances.


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