Over the last five years, I've opened many bank and credit union accounts. Not only did I want to take advantage of deals, but I also wanted to review the accounts for this blog. If there are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, I've typically left the accounts open just in case a good deal returns. The result is that I've accumulated many accounts, and it's time consuming to log into all of them on a regular basis. So I decided it was time to give one of the account aggregation services a try.
I've always been a little worried about these services since to automate the account tracking, you have to provide your login info for each bank account that you want it to track. But I decided it was better to have regular reviews of the accounts through an aggregation service.
There are several aggregation services available. This FW thread has a list of the popular ones. Yodlee appears to be the granddaddy of web-based account aggregators, and its aggregation engine powers several applications for customers like Mint.com, Fidelity and HSBC. Based on its popularity, I decided to go with Mint.com. There's a good overview of the service at Mint.com's About page, and you can review the security and privacy protections here.
I've been using Mint.com over the last 6 weeks, and it has worked well. Entering your bank login info can be time consuming. With the extra bank security these days, you not only have to enter your username and password, but also your security answers (like oldest brother's middle name). Not all accounts went through without problems. It took multiple tries for Mint.com to log into some of my bank accounts, and it couldn't work with a few, especially for the smaller banks and credit unions that weren't in its database.
Once the login info has been entered, Mint.com does in fact automate account tracking. I especially like how it sends you email on certain account activities. One Mint.com email came in very handy when one of my credit unions charged me an inactivity fee. Here's a snapshot of the email that I received (Note, I was able to get the fee waived by calling).
Another useful email notified me of an ING Direct rate change (Although I think I found out about it before the email)
Other useful notifications include low account balances and large deposits and/or debits. The weekly account summary emails are also useful.
What's your favorite account aggregation service? And what problems and useful features have you experienced?