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Mint gives financial perspective to consumers via app updateBy
Mint has made it easier for mobile shoppers to gauge their financial standing by adding its “Trends” feature to the Mint.com smartphone application.
Trends helps consumers manage their finances by aggregating their data and transforming it into colorful bar and pie charts. The feature was very successful on Mint.com’s Web site and tablet app, and a number of consumers had requested the feature on smartphones, so Mint decided to add Trends to its iPhone and Android apps.
“My team, we all go to the various [app] stores and take a look at feedback,” said Brian Tan, product manager of mobile at Mint.com, Mountain View, CA. “Doing this outreach and understanding how our customers use our product, what features are they looking for, that’s how we vetted out this particular feature.
“We saw that a lot of folks are using trends on the Web, on tablets, and that’s what really drove our decision to include this feature on the mobile phone,” he said. “In addition, the feature is something that is very visual, and we thought that from a mobile perspective this was perfect because you can hold it in your hand, you might have a minute waiting for the bus, and you want to get a sense of where am I spending my money today.
“Whether you’re someone who is on top of their finances or you spent a week shopping for Christmas and you just don’t know where your money is going, we thought trends would be very helpful. With the holiday season coming up paired with the fact that this is the most heavily requested features we thought it was a good time to put it out.”
According to Mint, Trends is the company’s most-requested feature.
After seeing success on Mint.com and Mint’s tablet app, Trends is now available on Mint’s smartphone app, which can be downloaded for free in Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
Trends lets consumers track their spending, income and net worth over time. It provides customized reports and organizes spending information by category, merchant, account, date or tags.
Additionally, the iOS app features an updated, streamlined look that adopts the appearance of iOS 7.
The updated app also reintroduces the ability to manually enter and categorize cash or check pending transactions.
In an effort to make cross-device finance management more accessible, Mint has also synced its offerings for smartphones, tablets and desktop. The data syncs automatically so changes made on one device will transfer across all devices.
The app also functions without Internet to show consumers data based on the latest download.
Of Mint’s 15 million registered users, 70 percent access Mint via mobile. It is therefore very important for Mint to appeal to its mobile consumers and put a greater effort into catering to them.
Mint understands that consumers perform different financial actions depending on the device they are using.
Smartphone users may be waiting in line for coffee and have a spare minute to glance at their finances. Tablet and desktop users, on the other hand, may have more time to browse.
To cater to the snacking behavior of smartphone users, Mint wants to provide easy and accessible data that consumers can understand quickly. The Trends features lets consumers glance at a graph and easily understand their financial status.
By adding Trends to its mobile app, Mint provides its mobile consumers with another tool to take a deeper look at their finances.
“We have trends on the Web, and it’s very much a situation where you would go in, pick your filter options and you would go over this idea, you have a sense of what you’re looking for and you’d be able to find it,” Mr. Tan said.
“On a mobile phone, you only have a short period of time, what we really focused on is a scenario where you might be coming in to check a balance or check individual transactions and this chart is there to provide additional color, both literally and figuratively,” he said.
“If you’re curious if a transaction posted for a purse you bought, and while you’re in the app you see ‘Wow I did spend more than I thought I did so maybe I should curb shopping a bit.’”
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York
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