So, Wesabe launched today. I’ve been waiting for this since I first saw Marc’s post on the Radar. As you may know I run a personal finance site, NetworthIQ, so I’m always on the lookout for related ideas and competition. I’m also happy to discover other people thinking about how to improve the way we manage our money.
Wesabe is a compelling product that I myself will try out. Features such as tips and goals are nice community features that are also slated for NetworthIQ one of these years (though my vision of these is a bit different). I need to still explore the account uploaders, but this could be the best part of Wesabe These uploading features give Wesabe the potential to be a Quicken/Money killer.
To beat Quicken/Money, I believe an app has to get out of the transaction entry approach and solve the problem of tracking finances differently and bring a lot more to the table feature-wise (like with social features). Yet, most new web-based personal finance apps (PFMs) still rely on transaction entry and have no social features. The data is already out there in the banks’ databases, so why should we have to enter it again? Plus, banks are rolling out better applications all the time, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to compete directly with them. One of my top goals for NetworthIQ was to provide account aggregation but never require a user to enter a purchase/transaction manually. That’s why it’s incredibly simplified down to just entering account balances once a month (which is stretching the bounds of data entry far enough IMO, and still needs to simplified further with automation and import/export tools).
Like we’ve faced with NetworthIQ, there is hurdle to overcome for users to trust their financial data to a web-based application. This is why you probably won’t see the desktop PFMs die anytime soon. But, like with online banking, the time is coming and Wesabe should help.