A lot has changed with the online account aggregator Mint.com over the past year. One of the most notable is the number of users, now topping 400,000. That may be a small number for a consumer service, but it is enough to make Mint the largest online personal finance service to date. While traditional, desktop based software like Intuit’s Quicken has a larger share of the market; Mint has a larger user base than Quicken’s web version.
An interesting fact about Mint’s users is that they are younger than Quicken’s, and 40 percent of its new users are women. Quicken and Microsoft Money is still 85 percent men.
The most obvious change is the clean, new look of the site which included a complete overhaul of the homepage.
The service also now connects to investment accounts, loans – including student, car, and personal – and mortgages. I have been using Mint for almost a year now and I have found the service to be extremely useful. I have not utilized any of the recommendations to save money but I enjoy the accounts overview and automated transaction labeling.
We have all been there, someone asks you to pick something up or you have to attend an event that is not part of your usual weekly routine and you forget. I do this on a regular basis, most of it being work related – let’s hope that doesn’t show up in my next review. What is one to do if you don’t have an iPhone or Blackberry to remind you? In steps Resnooze.
Resnooze is an online tool that lets you schedule in daily, weekly and/or monthly reminders to do something. What makes this tool interesting and separate from Google or Yahoo’s calendar tool is the multiple options you have once a reminder is delivered to you. You can simply get rid of it, or be reminded about it again – hence the whole “snooze” thing.
For now, Resnooze is limited to e-mail nagging, so if you’re looking for a more intrusive solution you might want to simply use or stick with Google or Yahoo calendars, both of which have an option for mobile SMS and instant-messaging reminders, although neither have the “snooze” option.
As a member of the e-Commerce team I get to work with several other departments that are customer facing to improve processes and aid in a better customer experience through the web. One department I have worked with heavily is the Call Center. Now, anyone who has ever tried to call a large company has experienced the labyrinthine touch-tone menu (calling tree) most employ. While I can’t offer you immediate satisfaction in knowing that the 1st Mariner touch-tone menu is perfect – we are working on it as I type this – I can offer you some help from a Canadian startup called Fonolo.com that allows users to avoid those phone menus altogether.
Shai Berger is the co-founder and CEO of Fonolo. He debuts Fonolo in a talk "Mapping Phonespace" at the Emerging Communications (eComm) conference.
Fonolo works by using transcriptions of the phone menus of large companies so you can navigate them visually. You simply pick the company you need to call, scan through the company’s phone menu visually, and then click the spot you need. Fonolo will automatically dial, navigate the menu and then dial your phone. When you answer, you will be immediately connected to the right spot in the menu – this is also known as Deep Dialing.
A major benefit of Fonolo is the ability to maintain an “intelligent call history” where you can keep track of calls and conversations during a dispute. This includes storing text notes and saving recordings of each call. According to the company, transcriptions are coming soon.
The system is free and can be used on any phone, with no software to install. Fonolo will remain in limited use beta testing until September, 08 and there is no word on how far it’s geographically reach will be.